When the United States registered its 12th case of Covid-19, the Trump administration’s vaccine program adviser predicted that life in the United States could return to normal around May 2021, when immunization is scheduled to begin.
The note of optimism came even as millions of Americans were expected to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday this week and many appeared to be ignoring warnings from health officials about the spread of the infectious disease.
Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor to the government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine development and distribution program, which involves the military and the private sector, as well as government health experts, said pending regulatory approval for the first vaccine means that the The first Americans could be vaccinated outside of the clinical trial in mid-December.
And Slaoui said that if the vaccination distribution and immunization plan are going well, enough Americans should be vaccinated by “May or so” 2021 to allow life to return to normal.
The first request to the US government for approval of the vaccine was made on Friday by the Pfizer pharmaceutical team and its partner BioNTech.
The regulatory body of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled to hold a key meeting on December 10 that could give the team emergency clearance for the vaccine.
“By December 11 or 12, I am hopeful that the first people will be immunized in the United States, in every state,” Slaoui told CNN’s State of the Union political program Sunday morning.
The administration plans to vaccinate 20 million people in December and another 30 million per month thereafter. Healthcare workers and the most vulnerable populations, such as nursing home residents, are expected to be first in line.
Slaoui said that with the first vaccines – the American pharmaceutical company Moderna is expected to soon apply for regulatory approval of its vaccine – at least 70% of the American population must be administered “for true herd immunity to occur.”
He added: “That is likely to happen sometime in May, or something like that according to our plans. I really hope and hope to see … the acceptance of the vaccine by the people increases. That is essential. “
As Donald Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge his electoral defeat by Joe Biden or cooperate with Biden’s transition efforts, Slaoui told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he had had no contact with Biden’s team.
Meanwhile, Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said “we are quite concerned” about the US planning to defy the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and travel for Thanksgiving. and meet in unsafe circumstances.
“Family reunion is the number one broadcast event,” he said, warning that people let their guard down at such events, don’t wear masks properly and break social distancing rules.
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