US Could Reach Herd Immunity by May 2021 If 70 Percent of Americans Get the Vaccine, Top Doctor Says

America could reach herd immunity by May of next year if a majority of citizens are vaccinated, a prominent health expert told CNN’s Jake Tapper Sunday.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for President Donald Trump’s immunization program Operation Warp Speed, told Tapper on his show “State of the Union” that if 70% of the populace receives a coronavirus vaccine, the U.S. could reach herd immunity by May 2021.

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States Aren’t Prepared to Distribute Coronavirus Vaccine, Investigation Finds

Most states aren’t adequately prepared to distribute the leading coronavirus vaccine, especially to rural areas, once it is approved for public use, according to a ProPublica analysis of state plans.

Pfizer announced Monday that the coronavirus vaccine it is developing was more than 90% effective and did not produce safety concerns during its large-scale trial. But, as the vaccine approached Food and Drug Administration approval, a ProPublica investigation found that states aren’t ready to administer the delivery of the vaccine to vast swaths of their populations.

“Early, when we don’t have lots of doses, I frankly do not anticipate that vaccine will be widely available in every rural community,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s V

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Pfizer Notified Biden Before Trump on Vaccine Success

In an interview with WMAL radio show Wednesday morning, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to confirm that the Trump administration learned of Pfizer’s successful COVID-19 vaccine trial from press coverage not from company officials directly. “I…learned of this from media reports on Monday morning,” Azar told “Mornings on the Mall” program on November 11. “There certainly was a gap in communications, let’s say.”

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Commentary: Was Pfizer’s Vaccine News Slow-Walked Until After the Election?

As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe in the spring, President Trump announced his plan to fast-track an effective vaccine that would be available by the new year.

The goal of Operation Warp Speed, launched by the White House in May, was “to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.” Congress appropriated $10 billion to fund the ambitious program.

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FDA Has Delayed Approval Process for Promising Cancer Drug for Months Because of COVID

A promising immunotherapy drug for patients battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may fail to gain federal approval due to COVID-19 precautions, according to company executives and a quarterly report.

Liso-cel, manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb, originally had its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) application accepted in February, but has yet to have one of its contracted manufacturing sites undergo FDA inspection due to the coronavirus pandemic. Not only is the drug’s approval contingent on the facility inspections from the FDA, according to multiple company executives, but its application expires on Nov. 16, meaning that if the plant is not inspected in the coming days Bristol-Myers may have to completely resubmit the drug’s application as a result.

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Commentary: A Vaccine from China? No Thanks

While Democrats including presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.), Gov. Gavin Newsom (Calif.), Gov. Ned Lamont (Conn.), and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot all publicly question the Trump administration’s ability to facilitate a safe COVID-19 vaccine, could arsonist-turned-firefighter China have the cure we all need?

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Vaccine Expected to be Ready for Vulnerable Population by January, HHS Sec Azar Says

Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar said Wednesday that he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be available for vulnerable Americans by January 2021.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary said that vaccines will be immediately be offered to seniors, health care workers and first responders once hospitals are able to administer it, according to The Hill. Sec. Alex Azar’s comments came at press briefing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters.

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Trump Official Says Vaccine Expected Starting in January

A Trump administration official leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic says the U.S. can expect delivery of a vaccine starting in January 2021, despite statements from the president that inoculations could begin this month.

And a growing, bipartisan chorus of lawmakers, experts and public health officials says the country is ill prepared for a projected winter surge of COVID-19.

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White House to Block FDA Vaccine Guidelines That Would’ve Delayed Approval Past Election

The White House blocked new vaccine guidelines proposed by health officials within the Trump administration, which likely would have pushed the approval of a coronavirus vaccine past the election.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of approving vaccines, proposed the guidance on Sept. 21, according to The New York Times. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows raised concerns with one provision of the guidelines which said vaccine trial subjects should be examined for two months following their final dose, a senior administration official told the Times.

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Johnson & Johnson Begins Final Stage of Testing for Its Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson began its final round of testing for its COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday.

The study is one of the most expansive to occur so far, involving 60,000 volunteers across the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico and South Africa, the Associated Press reported. The vaccine is the latest to begin its final testing phase, joining candidates developed by Moderna and Pfizer, and is the only vaccine that would be administered as a single dose.

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Over 60 Percent of Americans Say They Will Not Get a First Generation Coronavirus Vaccine

Sixty-one percent of Americans surveyed now say that they would not get a first-generation coronavirus vaccine as soon as it available, an Axios-Ipsos poll shows.

The percentage is eight points lower than a month ago, a drop that is reflected among both Democrats and Republicans, the Ipsos index shows. The United States is approaching 200,000 coronavirus deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.

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Pharmaceutical Companies Sign Joint Pledge Promising a Safe Coronavirus Vaccine as Public Confidence Dips

Nine pharmaceutical companies signed a joint pledge Tuesday promising to prioritize safety and science regarding the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

The pledge is meant to counter declining public confidence in an eventual vaccine, Politico reported. An August CNN poll found that just over half of Americans would be willing to take a vaccine once developed, and a recent Politico poll found that over 60% of voters opposed the release of any vaccine that had not undergone full testing.

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Third Virus Vaccine Reaches Major Hurdle: Final U.S. Testing

A handful of the dozens of experimental COVID-19 vaccines in human testing have reached the last and biggest hurdle — looking for the needed proof that they really work as a U.S. advisory panel suggested Tuesday a way to ration the first limited doses once a vaccine wins approval.

AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. The Cambridge, England-based company said the study will involve up to 30,000 adults from various racial, ethnic and geographic groups.

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U.S. COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Birx: Minnesotans Haven’t Done Enough to Decrease Spread

U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines.
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.

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U.S. COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Birx: Minnesotans Haven’t Done Enough to Decrease Spread

U.S. Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx stated in a visit to Minnesota on Sunday that Minnesotans haven’t done enough to decrease the spread of COVID-19. The visit is part of a cross-country tour to gauge how well states are adhering to coronavirus guidelines.
Birx commended the measures instituted by the state. However, she said that Minnesotans needed to do more – especially in rural areas.

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Millions of Potential Coronavirus Vaccine Doses Already Being Made, NIH Director Says

Millions of coronavirus vaccine doses are being manufactured, even before testing has been completed, the National Institutes of Health director said in an interview recently.

Doses of potential vaccines are being made to shorten the time it traditionally takes to develop a drug for public use, director Dr. Francis Collins told Intelligencer. Collins said he is “guardedly optimistic” that at least one vaccine will pass through the large phase of trials by December.

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