White House coronavirus testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir says he’s confident all Americans will be inoculated by late June and the vaccine will work against the new mutant strain that emerged in Europe.
‘We’re clearly on schedule, 20 million vaccinations distributed by the first week in January, we expect another 30 million in January, another 50 million in February,’ Giroir said on Fox News Sunday.
‘And with the current contracts, even with just the vaccines we have right now, we still expect that any American who wants a vaccine can be vaccinated by June. That’s really very exciting. That means a couple hundred million people being able to be vaccinated by that time,’ he added.
But he warned the public has to ‘keep vigilant’ by wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.
The White House coronavirus testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir says all Americans will be inoculated by late June and the vaccine will work against the new mutant strain that emerged in the United Kingdom
‘With good mitigation steps, with increasing vaccinations among those who are vulnerable, we should clearly see light at the end of the tunnel. But we’ve got to keep discipline, got to keep vigilant,’ he said lifting a mask in his hand.
He added the US will reach herd immunity soon and the end of the pandemic will be when 70 to 80 percent of the population has either been vaccinated or previously infected.
Giroir assured that the coronavirus vaccines currently being rolled out across the country will work against the new mutant strain of the virus that emerged in the United Kingdom and is said to be 70 percent more transmissable.
Over the weekend the mutant strain was detected in France, Ireland and Sweden, as per NBC News.
‘We have not evidence that suggests, nor do we believe, that…the vaccine would not be effective. In other words, we do believe the vaccine will be effective against this variant,’ he said.
‘We still expect that any American who wants a vaccine can be vaccinated by June. That’s really very exciting. That means a couple hundred million people being able to be vaccinated by that time,’ Giroir said. Across the country people are receiving the first round of COVID-19 vaccines. A view of long-term care patient Carlos Alegre receiving the vaccine at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center on December 21 in California above
Front-line health care worker Dr. David Rand, infectious disease specialist and co-medical director of infection control, receives a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site at Torrance Memorial Medical Center on December 19 in Torrance, California
UPS employees pictured moving one of two shipping containings of the first Pfizer vaccine shipments in Louisville, Kentucky on December 13
He said that currently travel restrictions involving the UK and other European countries that have been in place since March should reduce spread of this variant strain.
Giroir said that after health care workers and nursing home residents are inoculated, it’ll be up to states to determine who gets the vaccine next.
The White House recommends that people over the age of 75 and other frontline workers get first priority.
Speaking on schools opening up, Giroir said based on studies it’s okay for parents to send kids back to school even if they haven’t received the shot.
‘I think it’s very important for listeners to understand that getting children back to school right now is safe now. There’s data upon data upon data that children could go back to school safely in person,’ Giroir said.
He cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that says schools are not a place where children are likely to get infected saying, ‘So it is safe and very important to get children back in school, even before they are vaccinated.’
Nationally more than 18.9million cases of COVID-19 have been reported and more than 331,000 virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic.