Christmas could come early for some Americans. According to the man in charge of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccine program, the first stage of the rollout could begin as early as December 11, meaning that we may be closer than we think to finally putting this terrible pandemic in the rearview mirror for good.
“Our plan,” said Moncef Slaoui, “is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December.”
Slaoui, who is the chief of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s pioneering effort to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible, said that the upcoming transition to a new government will not hinder plans to push the medicine out to the public.
“All decisions are made, the train is running,” Slaoui told NBC News on Sunday. “Whether one administration or the other – it doesn’t, frankly, make a difference. The program has been isolated from the administration, from the political environment, and the political context.”
Slaoui did say, however, that he’s under strict command not to speak to the Biden transition team or reveal information that he would not ordinarily share with the general public.
“I have been informed that I should not be saying anything that’s confidential to anybody, including, you know, anybody that’s not part of the administration, and therefore, I’ll act according to what the legal requirements are,” he said.
With Congress seemingly deadlocked on providing another stimulus package for struggling Americans and the virus itself spreading like wildfire, news of an imminent vaccine rollout is pretty much the sole bright spot we can find in an otherwise gloomy pandemic. If these vaccines can get emergency authorization from the FDA and begin a strong rollout at the start of the year, it’s still possible that we can avoid the “worst is yet to come” predictions coming from some experts. This is not only good news from a public health perspective but from an economic one as well.
On the downside, a recent survey showed that only about half of American adults say they will even take the vaccine when it becomes available – a number we can thank Democrats for. Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have taken irresponsible, snide shots at the vaccine and its validity, letting their hatred for Trump overwhelm a subject that should not have anything to do with politics.
Of course, we’re sure that their tune will change as soon as they’re in a position where they can (falsely) take credit for the rollout.