Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called President-elect Joe Biden’s claim that the Trump Administration does not have a detailed plan for distributing a coronavirus vaccine as “nonsense” — and said the first doses would be sent out to the states in “24 hours” after approval by an FDA panel.
“With all respect that’s just nonsense, we have comprehensive plans from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention working with 64 public health jurisdictions across the country as our governors have laid out very detailed plans that we’ve worked with them on. We’re leveraging our retail pharmacies, our hospitals, our public health departments, our community health centers,” Azar said on Fox News Sunday.
He said hat the administration has the necessary syringes, needles and personal protection equipment to begin vaccinating Americans against the coronavirus.
The distribution process is being “micromanaged and controlled by the United States military, as well as our incredible private sector. We do hundreds of millions of vaccinations a year. We’re leveraging the systems that are known, and that work here in the United States,” he said.
Fox News’ anchor Chris Wallace played a clip of Biden from last week casting doubt on the rollout.
“There is no detailed plan, that we’ve seen anyway, as to how you get the vaccine out of a container, into an injection syringe, into somebody’s arm,” Biden said.
Azar said scientists are examining the data Pfizer and Moderna provided the FDA in applications for emergency use authorization for their vaccines for “red flags.”
Wallace asked how quickly it would happen if the FDA gives the OK to Pfizer on Dec. 10.
“Really within days, Chris. What we’ve said is within 24 hours of the FDA greenlighting with authorization, we’ll ship to all of the states and territories that we work with. And within hours they can be vaccinating,” Azar said.