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Vice President Kamala Harris claimed in a new interview that the Biden administration is “starting from scratch” on a national vaccination strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic, despite Dr. Anthony Fauci saying otherwise last month.

During an interview with Axios’ Mike Allen, Harris said that the “challenge” the new administration has faced since coming into office is that there was “no stockpile” of vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

“There was no national strategy or plan for vaccinations, we were leaving it to the states and local leaders to try to figure it out,” Harris explained. “So, in many ways, we’re starting from scratch on something that’s been raging for almost an entire year.”

Harris said that the Biden administration will “challenge” that “everything is possible.”

“Our standard has to be that everything is possible, but we’re going to have to work like heck to get it done,” she said. “Which means, again, no patience for delay, no patience for ‘no,’ no patience for ‘it can’t be done.’”

Despite Harris’ view that the Biden administration is “starting from scratch,” Fauci disagreed, and said, instead, they would be “amplifying” past practices “in a big way.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a member on the Trump coronavirus task force, now a leading voice in the Biden administration’s efforts against coronavirus, was asked about the vaccination strategy during a White House press briefing last month.

“No, we certainly are not starting from scratch because there is activity going on from the distribution,” Fauci said. “But if you look at the plan the president [Biden] has put forth, about the things he is going to do, namely, get community vaccine centers up, get pharmacies more involved, where appropriate, get the Defense Production Act more involved—not only perhaps with getting more vaccines, but even the things you need to get a good vaccine program, for example, needles and syringes.”

Fauci added that the Biden administration “is taking what’s gone on, but amplifying it in a big way.”

“We’re coming in with fresh ideas, but also some ideas that were not bad ideas with the previous administration,” Fauci said. “We are continuing but you’re going to see a real ramping up of it.”

The Biden administration, in its first weeks in office, has rolled out a vaccine distribution strategy, with President Biden last week announcing the purchase of 200 million more doses of vaccine — a move that the president says would be used to inoculate some 300 million people by the end of July.

When asked on Friday about the timeline, Biden said, “This has never been done before.”

“Our hope is that by the end of summer, everybody, almost everybody, almost 300 million shots,” Biden said. “It is going to take time.”

Last week Biden said the government formalized its contract with Pfizer and German company BioNTech, the maker of the first COVID-19 vaccine, to see emergency use approval in the U.S., for an additional 100 million doses.

The government also formalized its contract with Moderna, the maker of the second vaccine, to see emergency use approval, for an additional 100 million doses as well.

Overall, the additional 200 million doses will increase the country’s vaccine supply by about 50% to 600 million total doses.

“We have now purchased enough vaccine supply to vaccinate all Americans,” Biden said.

Additionally when making the announcement, the president said Pfizer and Moderna are slated to deliver a previous order of 200 million doses by late May, a month sooner than initially expected.

With more doses secured, the country is also on track to meet the administration’s goal of vaccinating 100 million people in its first 100 days, Biden added.
(Fox news)


Anthony Fauci

Fauci: COVID-19 Vaccinations Should Be Ready for All in US by Mid-April




Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that by April, anyone in the United States who wants a COVID-19 vaccination should be able to get one.

In an interview with the NBC morning television program “Today,” Fauci, who also is the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said projections indicate top priority groups, such as U.S. frontline workers and the elderly, should have received their vaccinations by April.

Fauci said after that, it would be “open season, namely, virtually everybody and anybody, in any category, could start to get vaccinated.” From there, he said, given logistics, it likely would take several more months to get vaccines to all who want them.

Fauci was hopeful that by July or August, “the overwhelming majority of people in the country will have been vaccinated.” He credits new vaccines becoming available and an increased capacity to deliver them with speeding the process.

An Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs poll released late Wednesday indicate 67 percent of U.S. citizens plan to get vaccinated, and about one-third say probably or probably will not. Those who have doubts said vaccine safety was their number one concern.
(VOA News)

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