'We're very hopeful, by January, we'll have at least 3 vaccines': Adm. Giroir

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir is interviewed on "This Week."
6:46 | 12/20/20

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Transcript for 'We're very hopeful, by January, we'll have at least 3 vaccines': Adm. Giroir
Let's bring in admiral Brett Giroir from the white house coronavirus task force. Thanks for joining us. Are the states squared away on the number of doses they'll be getting and when they'll arrive? Yes, thanks for having me on. The states are squared away. There were some initial projections in November before we had any vaccine authorized, much less two authorized. The specific projections for this week were given for Tuesday of last week and those are on track and you had them right. 2 million pfizer this week and 5.9 modern. They're already on trks I know you hope to have 200 million moderna doses out by June. Where do things stand with negotiating more of the pfizer vaccine and when can we expect other vaccines to be authorized? So, we are very confident that by June anyone in America who wants to have a vaccine will have that opportunity to have a vaccine. As you know right now, we have modern and pfizer. The next vaccine that is coming up would be j&j or Janssen. We would expect that authorization to be submitted in January. We don't know the results of that. It has to be unblinded, very transparent like the first two. We expect that to hit in January. That's a one-dose vaccine. We don't know the results. We're hopeful by January we'll have at least three vaccines with more to come. Your numbers are right, 20 million vaccine doses distributed at least by the first week in January, approximately another 30 million in January and another 50 million in February. Not counting the j&j vaccine. That June goal is encouraging. There's a lot of skepticism out there about the vaccine across the country, especially in the wake of the scattered allergic reactions we've seen that are being reported. What should people know about that possibility? So the system is working exactly as planned. Any time there's any adverse effect, that's immediately reported to the fda, the CDC investigates. Right now there are scattered reports. Remember, many are tingling and an elevated heart rate. This could be hype ventilation around the vaccine. Doesn't mean it's a vaccine problem. We believe there was one allergic reaction. We know that's a problem with any vaccine. Generally 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 1 we're watch these absolutely carefully. They're immediately reported. If there's any change in the recommendations, they'll come the CDC updated their recommendations last night just to be sure if you have an allergic reaction to any vaccine you probably shouldn't take this one. Still, it's widely recommended for everyone. This vaccine is 95% effective, as much as 100% effective at preventing severe disease. This is the way we end the pandemic by getting 70 or 80% of Americans vaccinated. We saw vice president Mike pence. President-Elect Joe Biden and vice-president elect kamala Harris will get it as well. Would it help if president trump took the vaccine in public? I think any leader who is influential over groups of individuals should have the vaccine. First of all, I believe everyone at risk or anyone important coming up like President-Elect Joe Biden and vice-president elect Harris. Yes, I think leadership like the vice president, the surgeon general, should get vaccines because they will inspire confidence with the people who believe in them and trust them. Again, we have every reason to believe thatvaccine, these two vaccines, are very effective and they are safe. You know, I would encourage the president to get a vaccine for his own health and safety and to also generate more confidence among the people who follow him so closely. As you know, a new version of the virus is -- new strain of the virus is out of control in great Britain. They're tightening their lockdown severely. Several countries have suspended flights from the United Kingdom. Is that something the united States will have to do? I really don't believe we need to do that yet. Viruses mutate. We've seen almost 4,000 different mutations among this virus. There is no indication that the mutation right now that they're talking about is overcoming England. I read the medical journals this morning. It's up to 20% of cases in one county. Aside from that it's very low. We don't know it's more dangerous. Very importantly we have not seen a single mutation yet that would make it evade the vaccine. Can't say that won't happen in the future. Right now it looks like the vaccine will cover everything we see. I don't think there's any reason for alarm right now. We continue to watch. That's what we do. Again, viruses mutate. Over 4,000 mutations that we've seen so far in this virus and it's acting essentially like covid-19 and the vaccines should continue to work very robustly against all these strains. The dire warnings of a surge upon a surge of covid cases after Thanksgiving have unfortunately come to pass. With Christmas coming up, what's the most important thing Americans need to know about the virus right now? The most important thing that Americans need to know that although we see the end of the pandemic in sight, it will end with vaccination widespread in this country, we have a lot of work to do. The lives of tens of thousands of Americans depend on what we do. You know what to do, George. It's wearing a mask in public. Physically distancing. Washing your. If you're having holiday gatherings, do them safely. Limit them to your immediate household. If you don't, wear masks inside. Improve the ventilation. There's so many ways to do this if you look at the midwest and northern plains, they have reversed their significant outbreak despite the Thanksgiving holidays. Their cases are down. Their hospitalizations are down. Their deaths are down. That's counter-balanced by extreme cases in California, some on the gulf coast including Tennessee in the deep south and on the east coast. We know what to do. If Americans do these things, we can flatten the curve and save literally tens of thousands of lives if we do these things before we get the vaccine out. When we get the vaccine out, the pandemic will end. This is not forever, but we have a lot of work to do or it's going to be even a darker winter. Admiral Giroir, thanks for your message this morning.

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

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