Operation Warp Speed Chief Moncef Slaoui has resigned recently but will continue to stay on in an advisory role for the next 30 days. He is likely to help the Biden transition team with regards to the vaccine distribution process.
This has come as a surprise as Slaoui had said that he would stay longer than his tenure as 3 more large clinical trials are in their final stages and they are likely to hit the market in the next few months. However, his original plan was to step down by the end of 2020 or during the early days of 2021.
Operation Warp Speed Chief Moncef Slaoui Steps Down
Many people have appreciated the performance of Slaoui and his team with regards to leading the operation warp speed. The program which was supported by the Trump administration has brought ready-to-use covid-19 vaccines within a short duration of time.
Even though the distribution and administration mechanism of covid-19 vaccines received some criticism in recent weeks, the overall performance of the team was very good considering the fact that they were able to bring the vaccine to the market within months after the pandemic struck the country.
In normal situations, it would take many years to develop a vaccine for any virus. On the other hand, the covid-19 vaccine was brought to the market within a year after noticing the first case in the US. This is the first time that a vaccine is being developed and approved within a short duration of time.
Several protocols and other hurdles were removed in order to facilitate the vaccine development process in the last few months.
Apart from that, the clinical trials were done at a better pace than usual, and they were simultaneously monitored by several agencies in order to speed up the approval process. The program had provided billions of dollars to support the development of vaccines to several manufacturers in 2020.
The efforts give positive results as two companies were able to come out successfully with covid-19 vaccines in December. Pfizer was the first company to receive emergency use authorisation by the FDA.
The vaccine was proven to be 95% effective when it came to preventing the spread of coronavirus. In the same manner, the Moderna vaccine was also given approval by the FDA after the recommendation committee suggested that the vaccine was effective in preventing covid-19. Both the vaccines are now being distributed across the US by the Operation Warp Speed program.
The authorities had initially planned to deliver about 20 million vaccines by the end of December. However, due to several hurdles in the distribution process, they were able to deliver close to 25 million vaccines in the first week of January.
Even though this was a good number, the problem came with the administration of vaccines across the country. Only about one-third of the vaccines that were distributed were being used across the country. The CDC had initially given priority to health care workers in the first phase of mass vaccination programs.
Several States also kept second doses of vaccines as a reserve for those people who received the first dose. In this manner, the administration of vaccines is going on at a slower than expected page across the country.
Meanwhile, the total number of cases across the US has crossed 23 million, and the country has added close to 3 million cases in 2021.
It took several months for the US to reach the first 3 million cases. On the other hand, the last two weeks have added close to 3 million cases, and this is a clear indication of the huge spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.