White House coronavirus task force member Adm. Brett Giroir said Sunday that even a few million doses of a vaccine for the coronavirus would be helpful to inoculate patients and staff in nursing homes, teachers and people with pre-existing conditions.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Giroir called a vaccine “even in a few million doses will be a godsend in terms of outcomes, hospitalizations, morbidity and death.”
“If we could vaccinate workers in nursing homes, we could protect the elderly and the vulnerable from disease, that would make an enormous impact on mortalities,” he said.
“If we could vaccinate our teachers and those with pre-existing conditions or those surrounding those people. I think this has been misunderstood.”
Giroir also said until that time, however, people should wear a face covering, remain socially distant and practice good hygiene.
“Biology is independent of politics,” he declared.
“If you cannot physically distance, all the doctors, all the public health experts, all of us are really unanimous that it’s important to wear a mask when you can not physically distance, avoid the indoor crowded space, wash your hands, combined with smart testing,” he said.
“And testing is a very important component of this. And that’s the way that we reduced the spread. Flatten the curve and reduce mortality. This will not be over until we get a vaccine that’s widely available.”
According to Giroir, there is no conflict in the testimony before the Senate of the and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield and President Donald Trump, who called Redfield’s testimony wrong.
“Redfield and I said a vaccine that would be available in hundreds of millions of doses would not likely happen until mid 2021,” he said. “President Trump said that some projections according to manufacturing if things go as planned we could have as many as 100 million doses by the end of this year. That is correct.”
“What I want to say and I said in front of the Senate and as well as other media, is that for my perspective, even a few million doses early in November or December, if we have 5 or 10% of the population that we can vaccinate, we can get 80 or 90% of the benefit.”
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