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Operation Warp Speed chief predicts spring return to normality

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Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui predicted Sunday that things will start to return to normal after the pandemic by April or May after a coronavirus vaccine likely is widely available. 

“I think we may start to see some impact on the most susceptible people probably in the month of January and February, but on a population basis, for our lives to start getting back to normal, we’re talking about April or May,” Slaoui said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Officials have indicated the initial supplies of the vaccine will be given to frontline health care workers and those at the highest risk from the virus, such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions.

In the meantime, he said, “it’s absolutely vital that everybody, A, take comfort in the fact that we have light at the end of the tunnel and find the energy in that to continue to wear our masks, distance, wash our hands, pay attention to what we are doing to make sure that we are there by the spring to benefit from the vaccine.”

While the UK and Russia have already approved vaccines, CBS “Face the Nation” anchor Margaret Brennan asked Slaoui if he was confident the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will approve Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines. The FDA is set to review both for emergency use authorizations in the next two weeks.

“[B]ased on the data that I know, I expect the FDA to make a positive decision. But of course, it’s their decision,” he said. “And as you probably know, they are totally separated and firewalled from the operation. They will make their own judgment based on the data. And I hope that the decision will be positive.”

“The minute it’s approved, shipments will start,” he added.

Tags Coronavirus Moncef Slaoui

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