Tags: Coronavirus | warp speed | moncef slaoui | trump | vaccines | covid

Warp Speed Leader: 'Lot of Disease, Lot of Deaths' Still Coming

moncef slaoui stands behind podium wearing mask
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, vaccine expert, delivers an update on "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 30 November 2020 12:28 PM

There will be "a lot of disease, a lot of deaths" before COVID-19 vaccines are widely circulated because the nation will likely experience another surge on top of the current one, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of the Trump administrations's Operation Warp Speed, warned Monday.

"I am concerned," Slaoui told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, even though he noted there is "significant progress" where the vaccines are concerned. "I'm very concerned. Clearly, the spike and the surge is happening and, as has been said, we're probably going to experience another surge on top of the current surge."

There are treatments that have been approved, including two monoclonal antibodies in the past month, but still, "the size of the surge is such that we are not able to produce as quickly as much treatment is needed," Slaoui said. 

He said he hopes that vaccines will be approved in upcoming weeks, and said the government is ready to distribute them across all jurisdictions, with states to make them available according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and its advisory committee.

"I'd like to say while we've done tremendous work to make these vaccines available, we only have enough vaccines to immunize 20 million people in the month of December," said Slaoui. "It's going to take a while before we have enough vaccines for everybody, so resilience and patience are very important."

Meanwhile, he said that "really significant progress" is being made with vaccines, with Moderna filing for emergency use authorization on Monday and Pfizer filing last week. 

"Both vaccines are 94%, 95% effective, 100% effective against severe disease," said Slaoui. "We have two more vaccines in phase three trials, one for Johnson & Johnson, which is a one-shot vaccine (and) has already recruited about 25,000 subjects in the study. That study is likely to be reading out somewhere early in January."

AstraZeneca is also in its phase 3 trial, with about 15,000 subjects recruited in the United States and two more vaccines, one from the biotech company Novavax and another from a collaboration between Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, are in phase two trials and preparing for their third phase, said Slaoui.  

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There will be "a lot of disease, a lot of deaths" before COVID-19 vaccines are widely circulated because the nation will likely experience another surge on top of the current one, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head...
warp speed, moncef slaoui, trump, vaccines, covid
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2020-28-30
Monday, 30 November 2020 12:28 PM
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