Chief Science Advisor reacts to CDC vaccination priorities

Dr. Moncef Slaoui discusses Operation Warp Speed and the possible first doses of vaccine to be distributed as well as a hopeful timeline for FDA authorization.
3:54 | 12/02/20

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Transcript for Chief Science Advisor reacts to CDC vaccination priorities
Let's bring in chief science adviser for "Operation warp speed" Dr. Moncef slaoui. Let's begin with the big news. Now that Britain approved the use of the vaccine are you confident that will come here in the next two weeks? Well, listen, it's great I think that an independent regulatory body that outside of the U.S., outside of the context in which these vaccines have been developed has come to a pod decision regarding the pfizer vaccine. I would expect the fda to reach similar conclusion, the mhra, the uk agency is a ve very high level type of agency comparable to the fda in terms of its assessment but as you know the operation is totally separated from the fda as far as judgments are concerned and, you know, things will follow their course but I hope by the 10th or 11th ofecember the pfizer vaccine is approved. It was nearly unanimous in recommending health care workers and long-term care residents get it first. There was one dissent by Dr. Helen Talbot worried about giving them to long-term care residents and said it was not studied this this particular population. Is that a valid concern? Listen, I know, for instance, for the modern vaccine, there were more than 7,500 subjects that were older than 65 years of age some in long-term facilities or in a similar health state as those in long-term care facilities so I do not think -- I think there's quite a rich set of data to the extent also that the efficacy can be demonstrated in that particular age group as being close to 90%. So I think the data are there to immunize those who suffer the most from this disease which are the older people and those are I think the process has not started and I suppose the CDC and icip and ultimately HHS secretary has until the approval by the fda to come to a final recommendation. We asked our audience for questions about the vaccine. Many are concerned whether enough people willet it to put an end to the pandemic. Yes, it is a big concern that there has been so much, frankly, politicization of the development process during the previous months that created high level of hesitancy, I would say, and decreased trust into the process. I'd like to retell the American people that no corners have cut. The development has been done very quickly because we had great science to allow us to do all the discovery work in weeks rather than in years and then the clinical work, the most important part that must demonstrate the effectiveness of the vaccine and its safety has been done to a higher standard in larger number of people. The long-term safety after years is not known yet. The pandemic is so high we'll need to use them earlier to save lives and get us back to our normal life. But we'll be assessed and studied on Ang ongoing basis so, people, please keep your ears open and mind open. Don't make up your mind. Listen to the experts, those people that you trust after they see the data and then make up your mind. I think if you do that most Americans would conclude this is an insurance against this virus. This is what will get us out of the pandemic. Serge hope you're right. Dr. Slaoui, thanks for your time. Such encouraging words.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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