The head of the United States’s coronavirus vaccine effort has confirmed plans to meet with president-elect Joe Biden this week to discuss the distribution of the long-awaited inoculant.
According to Yahoo News, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the US government’s operation warp speed initiative, in an interview on Sunday, 6 December, said he’s yet to meet with Biden.
“We really look forward to it because actually things have been really appropriately planned, Slaoui told CBS News.
The statement comes after Joe on Friday said his transition team had not seen a detailed outline from the Trump administration on how it planned to distribute vaccines, which he called an expensive and difficult process.
“There is no detailed plan that we’ve seen, anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm, Biden said.
The statements come as coronavirus cases and hospitalisations continue to surge in the US, a spike that officials say was likely compounded by travel and gatherings for the thanksgiving holiday on November 26.
The US recorded nearly 214,000 cases on Saturday and 2,554 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins university data, to date, more than 13.4 million cases have been confirmed in the country with about 281,00 deaths.
More than 100,000 people are currently hospitalised with the coronavirus in the US according to the COVID tracking project, with many states warning their health systems could soon reach a breaking point.
Several regions in California have pre-emptively imposed stay at home orders to alleviate healthcare stresses, such orders will be required when regional hospitals reach 85 percent capacity of their intensive care unit (ICU) beds.
Meanwhile, states including Idaho and Tennessee have deployed their national guard to help alleviate pressures on healthcare workers.