Biden seeks window on vaccine plans, hopes world returns to normal - GulfToday

Biden seeks window on vaccine plans, hopes world returns to normal


A man walks past a coffee shop as the store displays information signs in Chicago. File photo/AP

Gulf Today Report

President-elect Joe Biden’s scientific advisers plan to meet with vaccine makers in coming days as Britain expects to start rolling out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine just before Christmas.

A stalled presidential transition keeps Biden’s team out of the loop on government plans to inoculate all Americans against COVID-19.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept that he lost the election means that the Biden team lacks a clear picture of the groundwork within the government for a mass vaccination campaign that will last the better part of next year.

US-EvanstonPeople walk in downtown Evanston,Illinois, United States. File/AP

Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain said, “We now have the possibility... of a vaccine starting perhaps in December or January. There are people at HHS making plans to implement that vaccine. Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.”

UK health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, "We're working very closely with the company," he told BBC TV. "We'll be ready to roll it out as soon as it comes, we'll be ready from the first of December..., but more likely is that we may be able to start rolling it out before Christmas."

A couple eat inside the Buena Vista Cafe during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco. File/ AP

Asked how many vaccines Britain would need, he said it depended on how effective they were at preventing transmission.

After a painful October, equities have enjoyed a huge bounce this month after Biden's election win, which was followed by news that Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine candidate had proved 90 per cent effective, lifting hopes the world can soon begin returning to normal.


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"The vaccine enthusiasm booster shot remains the dominant narrative, even with surging infections across the US," said Axi strategist Stephen Innes. "Indeed, the vaccine could prove to be the ultimate market backstop and recessionary economic plugger."

A lack of coordination between outgoing and incoming administrations would be especially problematic in a worsening public health crisis, said the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

 “Of course it would be better if we could start working with them,” said Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service. He likened the process to runners passing on the baton in a relay race. “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody,” he said. “You want to just essentially keep going.”

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