As the vaccinations shift, the head of Warp Speed ​​exerts political pressure

The first coronavirus vaccine in the United States was in motion and a second close behind it, the leader of an initiative set up to speed up the process spoiled the political pressure on the approval process.

Operation Warp Speed ​​Moncef Sloaui was asked on the “Fox News Sunday” program that the head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was told on Friday his job would be in jeopardy if the agency did not approve the first Covid by the end of the day. vaccine.

If a phone call between Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff and FDA administrator Stephen Hahn, was made on this line, as we reported, “I think it was useless and unfortunate, and some of the tweets,” he said.

President Donald Trump tweeted directly to Hahn’s account on Friday, saying, “NOW take out the barrier (sic) vaccinations” and “Stop the game”.

The FDA followed the emergency use of Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine hours later, and a day after a panel of independent experts convened by the FDA voted 17 to 4 that the benefits of vaccination outweighed the risks.

Public pressure “never resulted in any interference” with Operation Warp Speed, said Slaoui, who spent 30 years in vaccine research at pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline PLC. He said “he would expect the FDA to have worked the same way.”

The FDA’s decision on Friday launched a complicated immunization step that will start nationwide in the coming days.

The first doses of the vaccine will be delivered on Monday and the first delivery is expected to be completed on Wednesday in all 50 states, says Gustave Perna, an army general who is chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed.

Many states, including New Jersey, will begin injecting health workers and nursing home residents on Tuesday.

The FDA will review Moderna Inc.’s second vaccine candidate at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Dec. 17, and approval may arrive soon. Additional vaccines are expected to be launched next year, with doctors expanding their arsenal to curb a virus that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.

Hahn said the mistrust expressed by many in the government’s approval process was a “significant problem,” but that can be overcome with a commitment to transparency.

“By going through this, we’re gaining the immunity of the herd,” Hahn said Sunday in “This Week” on ABC’s fight against Covid-19. “And that means we need to vaccinate a significant number of people in this country, including those who are hesitant.”

According to Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, some skepticism about vaccines “involves a possible intervention from some source” that he said “did not determine the outcome”.

“I’d like to ask people who are listening to this this morning to actually press the reset button, whatever they think they know about this vaccination that could be so skeptical.” Collins said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” . “

“There are few vaccines that have ever been tested like this,” Collins said.

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