Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told CNBC that Americans can expect to return to a “normal” state by the summer of 2021 as families across the United States spend a special Thanksgiving this year. to keep their loved ones safe.
“We hope to have vaccinated 70-80% of the U.S. population by May or June 2021, so I hope we have a substantial return to normal levels by the summer,” Slaoui said in an interview on Wednesday night. The news with Shepard Smith. ”
The coronavirus epidemic is spreading in U.S. cities, and data show no signs of slowing down. The Covid Tracking Project said 88,000 people were hospitalized on Tuesday. Deaths are also increasing. The U.S. reported more than 2,100 deaths on Tuesday, the most death since May, an analysis of CNBC’s Johns Hopkins data shows.
However, doctors and scientists reassure Americans that there will be a postponement. Two weeks after Thanksgiving, the FDA is meeting to discuss whether a green light should be given to vaccinate Pfizer. If it does, the government plans to deliver 6.4 million doses to communities across the country.
Slaoui says vaccinating all Americans will be a “challenge,” but he says it’s feasible. “People need to know that 140 to 180 million doses of influenza vaccine are produced, distributed and vaccinated in the U.S. population each year between August and perhaps January,” Slaoui said. “So, we might double that number over that period, but it’s not out of nothing, which was very different from testing.”
Host Shepard Smith noted that another challenge will convince people that vaccinations are safe. A recent Gallup poll found that only 58% of Americans said they would be vaccinated against a coronavirus.
“It is a matter of great concern, and indeed very unfortunate, that the political context in which the vaccine was developed has exacerbated the hesitation and lack of confidence that has resulted from us going very quickly,” Slaoui said.
Slaoui explained that the scientists did not “start from a blank piece of paper” and were able to skip the 10-15 years of discovery and development work that took place around the platform technology for vaccine production. He said that although it usually takes 6-7 years to discover a vaccine, many foundations have already been made due to research in recent years. Another factor that helped speed up the process was the large number of participants in clinical trials with the Covid vaccine, Slaoui said.
“We will know more about these vaccines and their effectiveness and safety than the lower average‘ vaccines, ’” Slaoui said, “What we don’t know much about is their long-term safety, just because the tests had to be done quickly and it’s important to immunize people. 2,000 people die every day. “
Slaoui said there is a thorough surveillance system in place to monitor people as soon as the population starts vaccinating. Slaoui added that if there are signs of long-term problems, these issues will be addressed “immediately.”
“Please keep your ears open and your mind open, listen and then judge the facts and figures,” Slaoui said. said. “I’m sure if we do that, the majority of Americans will agree to the vaccination. Ensuring 95% effectiveness of this epidemic.”