Dr. Slaoui: Biden's Vaccine Call 'Doable,' But Was Initial Plan Dr. Moncef Slaoui, vaccine expert, delivers an update on "Operation Warp Speed" in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on November 13, 2020. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 18 January 2021 11:33 AM
President-elect Joe Biden's call to vaccinate 100 million people in 100 days against COVID-19 is not only doable but was the "original plan," Operation Warp Speed chief scientific adviser Dr. Moncef Slaoui said Monday.
"Our plan has always been to be able to produce and distribute 200 million doses of vaccine between the middle of December and the end of the month of March, in the first quarter of the year 2021," Slaoui, who has resigned his post but is staying on for another month to assist with the new administration's transition period, said on Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria." "That's enough vaccine doses to immunize fully 100 million Americans with two doses of vaccine."
Slaoui acknowledged that the immunization process has gone slower than had been hoped for or expected, but said that now, vaccinations have climbed to 900,000 people a day being immunized. "We look forward to frankly learning from what the new teams and the new administration will bring as further support to the immunizations," said Slaoui.
The doctor also responded to a Wall Street Journal article that reported that COVID-19 vaccines are getting stuck at the local and state level because there are not enough resources to organize the distribution.
"We have gone so fast that maybe indeed the jurisdiction, the hospitals, very local entities have not been able to ramp up their capabilities in order to immunize with the vaccine," Slaoui said. "It's always easier to do the Monday morning quarterbacking."
He added that it wasn't known that the vaccines were effective until early November and that they were not approved until mid-December.
"Creating mass vaccination centers, having more individuals, nurses that are able to immunize is the right thing to do and I completely understand that everybody would like to be vaccinated," said Slaoui. "I'm actually thrilled to know that everybody would like to be vaccinated. I remind us, a few weeks back we were very concerned that more than 50% of the population was very hesitant."