U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has set a goal of securing 100 million vaccines in his first 100 days in office.
He said his first months in office would not end the outbreak and gave a few details about the release plan but said he would change the course of the Covid-19.
COVID Vaccine Canditates
He introduced his health team when he would take office on January 20, urging Americans to “mask-up for 100 days”.
On Tuesday, a report opened the way for Pfizer / BioNTech to be approved and released for Americans.
An urgent approval for its use could be issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday, infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci saying vaccination could begin soon next week.
Cases In USA
Also on Tuesday, President Donald Trump attended a White House conference on his Covid-19 vaccination program, Operation Warp Speed, and applauded the expected approval of the policies. Its management hopes to vaccinate up to 24 million people by mid-January.
The US has recorded more than 15 million cases so far and 285,000 deaths, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University, both of these high.
Many parts of the country are seeing high infections, with hospitalized figures, with some experts blaming the departure of millions over the recent Thanksgiving holiday.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr Biden outlined how he planned to deal with the epidemic in his first 100 days in office. That time is traditionally considered a measure of new presidents to make their mark on new policies and ideas.
He promised to get “at least 100 million Covid vaccine in the hands of the American people”.
“My first 100 days will not eradicate the Covid-19 virus. I can’t promise that. But we did not get into this mess immediately. We will not get out of it immediately,” he said at the event in Delaware, giving a few details on how to make the biggest vaccine in US history.
Last week, Mr Biden complained that he had not been offered plans to be fired by Trump’s management. Operation Warp Speed scientist Moncef Slaoui is yet to meet with the Biden team and is expected to do so this week.
Bringing children back to school will also be a priority, the president said.
Mr Biden also introduced California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as his nomination as health secretary and his appointment of Rochelle Walensky as head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some of his assistants will be Dr. Anthony Fauci as Covid’s senior medical advisor. The expert also advised Trump’s team and often toppled the President with his comments.
How Many People Can Be Vaccinated In 100 Days?
Getting 100 million ARVs from Americans in more than three months is not expected to be easy. The sheer size of U.S. facilities and the effectiveness of new vaccine delivery could pose challenges in achieving the goal.
Helen Branswell, the world’s leading health author on the US website Stat News, described Mr Biden’s plan as “a real possibility” if a drug was found and Mr Trump successfully started the vaccination program before the end of his term.
“I think the first phase of the drug delivery system will be very difficult in the US so by the time [Mr Biden] starts working some of these criminals may have been released a bit,” Ms Branswell told the BBC.
Dr Fauci suggested that the plan was “bold but feasible”, warning that “the road ahead would not be easy”.
By comparison, 51.8% of Americans older than six months were vaccinated against the flu in 2019-20, according to the CDC. The US population is 316 million people, which means that approximately 158 million people were infected with flu between July 2019 and May 2020.
In the UK, the government says it intends to vaccinate 800,000 people in the next few weeks after the world’s first official drug release.
The event was to celebrate Operation Warp Speed’s efforts to deliver the vaccine to the American people. President Trump said of the expected drug approval: “They say it’s a miracle and I think that’s true.”
He added: “Every American who wants a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine and we think by spring we will be in a position where no one would believe it could happen in the last few months.”
The president has also signed a high-level order aimed at ensuring that Americans are prioritized in obtaining doses. But it is unclear how that will affect the contracts that American companies have already signed with other countries.
Trump executives signed up for the first 100 million doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine but a Pfizer board member said the opportunity to buy more was turned down many times and more doses could not be available until June.
The Operation Warp Speed team said its policy is to deal with a large number of vaccine manufacturers. US media outlets have reported that top controls show concern that supplies may be inadequate.
Mass Immunization In The US
On Tuesday, U.S. authorities confirmed that the Pfizer / BioNTech Covid vaccine was 95% effective, opening the way for it to be approved for emergency use. The FDA has not found any concerns about the safety of suspending vaccination.
While two doses are needed to provide full protection, the first jab protected 89% of the most serious cases. Other side effects such as redness or swelling at the injection site, temporary fatigue, headache and muscle pain were reported but were considered minor.
The US biotech company Moderna has reported similar success with its vaccine and is expected to receive FDA approval before Christmas.