The White House coronavirus testing czar says Americans will have to still follow mitigation measures after receiving coronavirus vaccines.
Adm Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, warned that people will need to wear face coverings and practice social distancing for a while longer.
‘Although we’re very positive about the vaccine, it is absolutely imperative that we continue our work to wear masks, to avoid crowded spaces, to physically distance, to avoid travel if you can,’ he told CNN’s New Day on Wednesday.
‘Because until the vaccine gets widespread, this is still our best measures to flatten the curve and save lives.’
In an interview on CNN’s New Day on Wednesday, Adm Brett Giroir warned Americans will have to continue wearing masks and social distancing after receiving coronavirus vaccines (pictured)
Giroir (right) told host John Berman (left) this is because immunizations will not be protective enough until they are widely distributed
The testing czar added that he is confident the Moderna vaccine will be approved this week by the FDA, allowing thousands of more doses to be distributed across the U.S. Pictured: Dr Sheetal Sheth (left) OB-GYN and Medical Director for Labor and Delivery at George Washington University Hospital, vaccinated for COVID-19 by nurse Lillian Wirpsza (right), December 14
Midwestern states, such as Michigan and Minnesota, are seeing declining cases and hospitalizations, Giroir noted.
But he added that among coastal states, including New York and California, there have been exponential rises in infections and deaths.
‘We are still at a dangerous and critical part of this pandemic and tens of thousands of American lives are at stake and we can flatten the curve,’ he said.
‘Please listen to the public health messages. Masks do work. They really do work to protect you and to protect others. Avoid crowded spaces whether that’s a bar or a house party of 100 people. You can’t do it.’
Giroir plea comes as healthcare workers and public health experts fear Americans traveling over Christmas and holding gatherings will lead to a spike in cases.
‘I’m not Scrooge here. I think if you can avoid traveling, that’s a good measure,’ he told host John Berman.
‘If you are going to travel, there are many recommendations to keep you safer.’
Giroir recommending wearing masks in transit, avoiding high-touch surfaces in airports or bus stations, carrying hand sanitizer and social distancing if gathering.
This week, Pfizer Inc rolled out its first batch of coronavirus vaccines and Moderna Inc, upon U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, is expected to do so next week.
‘The end of the pandemic is in sight, It really is with these vaccines and more to come in January,’ Giroir said.
Giroir said he is ‘very confident’ that the Moderna vaccine will be approved by the FDA and that the impact will immediately be seen as nursing home deaths and hospitalizations decrease.
However, he warned that most people won’t be able to receive the vaccine for several months.
It echoes comments made by Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said that healthy Americans with no underlying conditions will probably start getting shots in March or April 2021.
It could be ‘sometime by the end of March, the beginning of April, that the normal healthy man and woman in the street who has no underlying conditions would likely get it,’ the nation’s top infectious disease expert told MSNBC on Tuesday.
Fauci said he believes by late spring or early summer, the U.S. could reach ‘that umbrella of herd immunity.’