The chief science adviser to the Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine development program expressed concern Sunday over continued public skepticism about immunization safety, explaining that he believes distrust in medicine is being “exacerbated by the political context” of his team’s work.
‘I’m very, very concerned about the hesitancy (to receive a vaccine) as it exists and I think it’s very unfortunate because this has been exacerbated by the political context under which we have worked very hard with the companies and with, you know, the thousands of people that have been involved to make these vaccines available,” Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed’s chief science adviser said on ABC’s “This Week.”
On Friday, Pfizer, which, unlike Moderna, did not receive government funding for its research through Operation Warp Speed, submitted an emergency use application for its vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is scheduled to discuss potential authorization on Dec. 10.
Both Slaoui and Gen. Gustave Perna, Operation Warp Speed’s chief operating officer, have said that immunizations could begin as soon as 24 hours after approval is granted. Health care workers and individuals considered at-risk, due to age or pre-existing conditions, are likely to be the first to receive inoculations. Slaoui told ABC News last month, prior to the news from Moderna and Pfizer, that the government was planning to immunize most Americans by June 2021.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.