Operation Warp Speed scientific head: ‘Transparency’ is ‘key’ in gaining public trust
Operation Warp Speed scientific head Dr. Moncef Slaoui stresses that ‘transparency of all data’ is the ‘key’ to instill public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine amid some skepticism over its quick production and rollout.
Operation Warp Speed scientific head Dr. Moncef Slaoui told “Mornings with Maria” on Monday that at least 75% of Americans need to be injected with a COVID-19 vaccine for the pandemic to be under control.
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Slaoui made the comment as U.S. officials said the country's first COVID-19 vaccine started to arrive in states after the government gave the final go-ahead to the shots needed to end the outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans, according to U.S. officials.
Slaoui added that in January the expectation is about 60 million doses of a vaccine will be available for administration and by March the expectation is “at least 100 million Americans” will be immunized with two doses of a vaccine.
He stressed on Monday that “transparency of all data available” is the “key” to instill public confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine amid some skepticism over its quick production and rollout.
“Everything that has been obtained and that the FDA has reviewed and the advisory committee has reviewed will be published in peer-reviewed papers and will be available for all experts to look into,” Slaoui said.
He went on to note that “engagement strategy” is also important in gaining public trust.
“There are plans for public service announcements and other such activities to engage people really at the community level, to discuss the data and to explain how these vaccines are effective and safe,” Slaoui explained.
He added that leaders “carry some level of responsibility in driving these vaccines” and “should and will be getting vaccinated in front of the public to make sure that we are able to walk the talk.”
“We’ll continue doing this every day until I hope the hesitancy decreases,” Slaoui said.
He added that it is important for Americans to understand that the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine as well as the Moderna vaccine, which he said should be reviewed by the FDA “and hopefully approved at the end of this week,” have been tested very thoroughly “in animals, in test tubes, and then in clinical trials on very large number of individuals.”
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“They are incredibly effective,” Slaoui continued. “They are very safe, as safe as any other vaccine that has been approved over the past many decades.”
He stressed that “our capacity as a country to control this pandemic will only really happen if the very large majority of us accept to take this vaccine.”
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He then had a call to the America people asking them to keep an open mind and listen to “real experts” as well as the data and facts to make up their minds about getting injected with a vaccine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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