Dr. Ashish Jha called on Monday Vaccine news from Pfizer – that the initial COVID-19 vaccine data suggests that the injections can be 90% effective – a clear “positive step”.
Brown University of Public Health principal said in an “Today” interview that updates from the drug company are “good news.”
“I must say, I was surprised”, Jha said. “We all hope to know about a vaccine this month or early next month. And I was expecting a vaccine that could be 70% effective, if we were lucky. So this is better than I expected ”.
Public health experts remind viewers that it is still “early”; when it comes to vaccine production and it will take a long time to reach the American people. He says more data is still needed from Pfizer on the number of doses they inject before a clear timeline can be set for vaccine delivery.
“But this is clearly a positive step forward,” he said.
The doctor stressed that even with news of the vaccine, immediate steps need to be taken to address the virus’s growing spread across the country. The United States has broken previous records of new daily coronavirus infections. On Sunday, the country topped 10 million cases, with the daily number of cases per week averaging over 100,000 and with an average of 900 deaths per day, according to the New York Times.
National masking and extensive testing could make a “profound difference in virus control,” Jha said.
“We are entering the two most difficult months of the pandemic,” he said. “I predict a lot of people will get sick and die. We have to start really taking action. “
Talk to @hodakotb on @TODAYshow about @pfizer vaccine, what should @JoeBiden pandemic team do
Vaccine? At first glance, but very good news
Pandemic team? Up front, let’s focus on the mask and get more tests that are widely available https://t.co/keFJKoh6c3
– Ashish K. Jha (@ashishkjha) November 9, 2020
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