Vaccine czar: 'Unfortunate' that COVID-19 vaccine 'has been politicized'

Vaccine czar: 'Unfortunate' that COVID-19 vaccine 'has been politicized'
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The chief adviser to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed said Sunday that it is “unfortunate” that the COVID-19 vaccine “has been politicized.”

Moncef Slaoui during an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union” attributed polls showing a decreased public willingness to be inoculated against COVID-19 to the process being “politicized.” 

“I really think it’s very unfortunate that the whole process has been politicized and therefore the context has created conditions whereby people’s perception have been exacerbated, and we are where we are today,” he said. 

Slaoui told CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperOmar calls out Boebert over anti-Muslim remarks, denies Capitol incident took place Republican Rep. Upton unsure if he'll run again Bass calls 'Black pastors' comment during Arbery trial 'despicable' MORE that he thinks the American public has “misunderstood” the level of efficacy the Food and Drug Administration requires for a vaccine to be approved. 

His comments come after Pfizer and its German partner company, BioNtech, applied for emergency authorization for their vaccine last week, which it expects to be 95 percent effective. Pfizer’s rival, Moderna, also is moving forward with a vaccine that preliminary analysis showed to be almost 95 percent effective. 

Slaoui on Sunday said that the levels of efficacy of the vaccine candidates are “almost a full insurance against this pandemic.”

“I think and I hope that’s gonna change people’s perception,” he said.

Slaoui  also said he expects enough Americans – 70 percent – will receive the vaccine to reach the necessary herd immunity in May. 

“I really hope and look forward to seeing that the level of negative perception of the vaccine decreases, and people’s acceptance increases,” he said. “That’s going to be critical to help us. Most people need to be immunized before we can go back to a normal life.”