Surgeon General Dr, Vivek Murthy argued Sunday the United States has to both save the nation from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and boost vaccine supplies around the globe.
In an interview on ABC News “This Week,” Murthy said “we have to do both.”
“We have to protect American lives, and we have to help vaccinate the world, because that is the only way this pandemic ends,” he said.
“And if we assume that the pie is fixed, so to speak, that the supply is not changing, then, yes, taking more vaccines for Americans in a form of boosters will take away from the rest of the world,” he said.
“But our focus has been on growing the pie. It's been on increasing the supply. And that's why, in addition to donating more than 120 million doses of vaccine and moving out on the commitment of 500 million doses starting this month that the president announced earlier in the summer, we're also working with the companies and with other countries to stand up manufacturing capacity, so we can really scale up production of the vaccine.”
“We have to work on both fronts,” he declared.
According to Murthy, “if and when” FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine, as anticipated, there’ll be more people coming forward for the shot — and more schools and businesses requiring them.
“I anticipate, if and when this does come from the FDA, the full approval, two potential things may happen,” he explained. “One is, you may see more people coming forward, those who perhaps were on the fence about getting vaccinated, and this may tip them towards doing so.
“But, second, I think you'll see more universities and workplaces that were considering putting in requirements for vaccines to create safer places to learn and work, you'll see more of them likely moving forward on their plans to require vaccines in the workplace and school.”
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