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The chief of the public-private Trump administration partnership that expedited the creation of a coronavirus vaccine (aka “The Trump“) and is currently planning its distribution expects America to return to full normalcy by May 2021.
Speaking on CNN this Sunday, Operation Warp Speed chief scientific advisor Moncef Slaoui said that for normalcy to return, roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population must be vaccinated.
Once 70 percent of the population is vaccinated, he explained, “true herd immunity” would “take place.”
“That is likely to happen in the month of May or something like that, based on our plans,” he added.
Of course, for any of this to happen, the public must become more accepting of the incoming vaccine.
“I really hope and look forward to seeing that the level of negative perception of the vaccine decreases and peoples’ acceptance increases. That is going to be critical to help us. Most people need to be immunized before we can go back to a normal life,” he said.
The remarks were made on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Watch the relevant portions of the interview below:
Distrust of a vaccine has emerged from two distinct factions.
The first faction is comprised of standard-fare vaccine opponents who distrust government, believe vaccines violate their religious beliefs, etc.
The second faction is comprised solely of anti-Trump zealots who distrust the Trump administration specifically and believe anything touched by him is tainted.
A number of high-profile Democrats, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Kamala Harris, have only exacerbated the second faction’s opposition by questioning the legitimacy of the Trump administration’s vaccine-procurement efforts.
Two months ago Harris stoked fears by saying she wouldn’t trust a vaccine touted by the Trump administration.
“They [scientists] will be muzzled, they’ll be suppressed, they will be sidelined, because he’s looking at an election coming up in less than 60 days, and he’s grasping for whatever he can get to pretend that he’s been a leader on this issue when he’s not,” she told CNN.
“I would not trust Donald Trump and it would have to be a credible source of information that talks about the efficacy and the reliability of whatever he’s talking about.”
Carmella stokes fear of corona vaccine, which scientists say may be available soon.
Hapless is more concerned vaccine will help Trump politically than that it could save lives.
Fauci: Vaccine will be safe. There’s been no political interference by Trump.https://t.co/zj36pHOKUj
— Samantha Chang ♖🎄 (@samantha_chang) September 6, 2020
A month later Cuomo did the same thing.
“I don’t believe the American people are that confident [of a Trump administration vaccine]. You’re going to say to the American people now, ‘Here’s a vaccine. It was new, it was done quickly, but trust this federal administration and their health administration that it’s safe, and we’re not 100 percent sure of the consequences?'” he said to ABC News.
“I think it’s going to be a very skeptical American public about taking the vaccine, and they should be.”
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) October 19, 2020
During Slaoui’s appearance on CNN this Sunday, he added that the first batches of the vaccine are slated to be dispatched as early as next month.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours of approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval — on the 11th or the 12th of December — hopefully the first people will be immunized,” he said.
This is why it’s essential that trust be established sooner rather than later.
Questioned by Tapper about the vaccine’s expedited development, Slaoui assured him that its quick development doesn’t mean quality was sacrificed.
“The way we have accelerated was to, first, capitalize on at least 10 years of research around what is called platform technologies, which is almost like a cassette player in which you can fit different cassettes for different music and different cassettes would be different vaccines,” he said.
“All of the upstream part of the discovery that usually takes five or six years have been done in two months, literally. Then we ran much, much larger clinical trials than required by the FDA for approval, so our level of understanding on a broad population basis for ehe short-term safety of the vaccines is actually very good”
The only thing that’s lacking, he then admitted, is that the government hasn’t been able to conduct long-term trials because of the time constraint.
That being said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control will be monitoring the rollout of the vaccine.
“The CDC and the FDA are setting up very, very thorough and active surveillance system to assess and look into the safety of the vaccine,” he said.
“My expectation, this vaccine will be as safe as all of the other vaccines that are being used in the population. I would really urge people to listen to the experts, look at the data, keep their mind open and hopefully accept to be immunized.”
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