Michael Osterholm, a Biden transition team adviser on the coronavirus, said on Sunday the country has to “call an audible,” in regards to COVID-19 vaccine distribution, warning a new surge caused by the U.K. variant is likely to occur in the next few months.
Osterholm appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on Sunday to discuss the state of coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. and their distribution with host Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddGlasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal Arkansas governor backs employer vaccine mandates Paid family leave is 'not a vacation,' Buttigieg says MORE. The news host asked if it was now time to abandon the current distribution plan in favor of a new one.
“Well first of all, let me just say that I have been one of those saying that we need to make sure that we have both first and second doses of that and follow the FDA approval process, but let me say right now we do have to call an audible,” said Osterholm.
Osterholm, an epidemiologist, said the new variant from the U.K. would cause a surge in the next “six to 14 weeks.”
“And if we see that happen, which my 45 years in the trenches tell us we will, we are going to see something like we have not seen yet in this country,” Osterholm said.
He stated it was still important that people receive the two doses required of the current vaccines available in the U.S., but said as many seniors as possible should receive at least one dose before the surge hits.
Todd asked Osterholm if he was concerned about home grown strains popping up in the near future.
"I'm very concerned about that, but I think the good news is that I actually see action being taken with this new administration, unlike we've seen before. And so there really are efforts right now to in fact get us that kind of surveillance system in place as quickly as possible. And frankly we need the Congress to pass the president's relief act, because that'll help us also do more of this kind of work," Osterholm said.