Transcript for We know that these vaccines are highly effective, as safe as others: Moncef Slaoui
You have said that if this transition doesn't get going, especially coordination on vaccine distribution, that lives will be lost. There is no excuse not to share the data and let us begin to plan because on day one, it's going to take us time if we don't have access to all this data. It's going to pu behind the eight ball by a matter of a month or more, and that's lives. How many would be lost as a consequence to that, I can't tell you. President-Elect Biden earlier this week. Let's talk now to the "Operation warp speed" science adviser, moncef slaoui. Dr. Slaoui, thank you for joining us. You heard the President-Elect right there, and you heard -- thank you. You heard Ron klain as well saying the failure to communicate with a transition won't affect vaccine distribution now, but it could affect it once Joe Biden is president of the United States. How much are you concerned about the lack of communication with the Biden transition team? Well, we are focused, frankly on making sure that the vaccines are made available as quickly as possible and distributed as efficiently as possible regardless of the political contexts that surround us. Of course, we would hope that transition happen quietly and smoothly, and we're here to serve the American people and the American population, and we'll do our best. So we are concerned with anything that could derail the process. As it is -- stands now, I can't see that happening, but hopefully it doesn't happen. Have you had any contact with members of the Biden transition? No contact. But wouldn't that ensure -- help ensure a seamless transition from one administration to another? Frankly as I said, we're here to serve. If people want to contact us, of course. We'll be available. I understand. As you know, I'm not a federal employee, but I understand the rules are such that confidential information needs to be kept with the federal employees. I'll make sure I, you know, look at that, but otherwise of course, I would be happy to -- to be contacted and explain what we're doing as I'm doing it now to all the public. Walk us through what we can expect going forward with both the pfizer and the modern vaccines. Yes. So the two companies are working 24/7, Aring their files. As you know, pfizer already filed yesterday. Moderna is planng to file by the end of this month. The fda will review the files and do that process. The CDC for immunization practices will also review the data so that when the fda on cember 10th or pfizer and on December 17tmoderna reviews and gets the advice fr its advisory committee of independent experts, and hopefully approves the vaccine, the CDC will almost immediately ask the acip for what recommendation and what guidance they wive to the population in terms of immunization priorities. We are ready to start shipping vaccines within 24 hours from approval, ship them to the sites that each state -- that are allocated, the quantity or number of vaccines to their it tells us where to deliver the vaccines and we'll have the vaccines there the next day after approval, and hopefully people will start to be immunized. I would say within 48 hours from the approval. Presumably health care workers are at the front of the line, but we're seeing hesitancy from health care workers, doctors and nurses about taking the vaccine. If health care workers on the front lines are hesitant, what does that mean for the broader population where we know there has been some skepticism about taking the vaccine? Well, I'm very, very concerned about the hesitancy as it exists, and I think it's very unfortunate because this has been exacerbated by the political context under which we have worked very hard with the companies and, yw, the thousands of people that have been involved to make these vaccines available. The vaccines have been developed as thoroughly and as scientifically as ever. I have been doing this for more than 30 years. This vaccine development is not different than any other except that we have gone at an incredible fast speed with incredible resources, and, you know, incredible commitment by all the parties. We know that these vaccines are highly effective. They are as safe in the short-term as any other vaccine that's already approved. We will be looking for the long-term and their safety through pharmaceutical vision, and the CDC and fda are working together to set that up and they are close to a clinical trial. I feel very comfortable that this vaccine -- these vaccines are safe. I would be happy to take the vaccine or have my children or parents have the vaccine. We will be totally transparent with every single bit of data and information that we know about the vaccine. For everybody to listen, but the key frankly is, please. Don't make up your mind before you listen to all the information that the fda and that the CDC and that all the independent experts in the country will be able to look into and advise you. As you know, the president is -- Make up your mind. Thank you, sir. As you know, the president has complained that pfizer delayed the reporting of the clinical trial's success until after the do you have any evce of that? Well, listen. Our partnership with pfizer is slightly different than our partnership with modern. We had been working on every aspect together. With pfizer, it was an arm-length relationship, where we had supported them in terms of creating a secure marketplace for them. We pre-purchased vaccine as a commitment, and helped them with manufacturing raw materials and things like, that but we haven't been with them on a daily basis. I don't know the specifics, however, I do think that asking for 60 days' follow-up after immunization to make sure we understand the short-term and predictable long-term safety of the vaccine, is an appropriate decision, and I understand that that's what drove the timelines of pfizer. So as far as I know, I don't think any specific action has taken place to delay the vaccine. Dr. Slaoui, thank you very much for your time this morning.
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