HHS Secretary Azar says the general public can be given a Covid vaccine “in late February by way of March”.
Minister of Health and Human Services Alex Azar told The News with Shepard Smith that most Americans can expect to get the coronavirus vaccine by late February.
“I think by the end of February, end of March of course, depending on the decisions of our governors, but I think we will have enough offers to reach the general public for the administration – at your CVS, Walgreens, Kroegers – by the end of February by March, “said Azar.
However, Azar added that the public vaccination schedule could be even earlier if the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccine gets approved soon. The country’s foremost infectious disease official, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that Covid-19 vaccines should be widely available to most Americans by April.
Regeneron and Eli Lilly’s antibody drugs were supposed to be a bridge to a vaccine, but Moncef Slaoui, chief scientist for Operation Warp Speed, said only 5-20% of antibody drugs already shipped to states are in use. Slaoui attributed this to the challenge of administering drugs via IV within a few days of diagnosis, before people could feel sick. CNBC’s Meg Tirrell added that Slaoui said the antibodies could cut hospital admissions in half, and he hopes these challenges can be overcome. Azar repeated Slaoui’s statements when it came to the excess of monoclonal antibodies.
“It [the antibodies] can drastically reduce the risk of hospitalization at a time when our hospitals are overcrowded with people with Covid, “said Azar.” If you have comorbidities … if you are at risk of hospital admission you should start this product as soon as possible. ”
The record number of hospital stays is currently growing daily with more than 110,000 Covid patients in hospitals. Covid cases, deaths and hospital stays hit record highs today, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Hospitals in 18 states are full or almost full. More than 300,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus pandemic since February, and now more than one American is dying every minute.
Azar told host Shepard Smith that in order to gain control of the virus, Americans “must act responsibly, wash our hands, watch our distance, wear our face covers when we can’t watch our distance, and stay out of crowded indoor spaces.” ” “”
Smith pointed out that many in the White House do not follow the rules Azar has listed. Azar said he went to a Christmas party at the White House Tuesday night and there were military aides and doormen telling people to put their masks back on if they weren’t actively eating or drinking.
“People were told to wear masks at these events,” said Azar. “Our advice is the same in any setting. Wear your mask when you can’t keep your distance.”