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Joe Biden sounds alarm on COVID vaccine warning he has not seen a ‘detailed plan’ for distribution

Joe Biden sounds alarm on COVID vaccine warning he has not seen a ‘detailed plan’ for distribution and says there has to be ‘some equity’ in how it gets out

  • ‘There is not 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 the administration has ‘clued us in’ on planning for the vaccine
  • Pfizer and Moderna are each seeking emergency approval
  • Raised equity issues
  • Said the coronavirus was a ‘mass casualty event’ for communities of color 

President-elect Joe Biden raised concerns about what he said was a lack of detailed planning for end-stage distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, following discussions with current Trump administration officials.

Biden made the statement after speaking in Wilmington about a ‘grim’ jobs report that he also called ‘dire.’

‘There is not 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.

He said the current administration has ‘clued us in on their planning,’ and he acknowledged in a CNN interview Thursday having spoken to infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who he has asked to be his science advisor and to stay on in his post.  

‘There is not 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, after his team got briefed on the administration’s plans

‘And it’s going to be very difficult for that to be done is very expensive proposition,’ Biden said.  

Biden did not appear to be calling into question the administration’s plans for delivery of a vaccine. The Trump administration has been bringing in the military to plan to get out millions of doses once vaccines start coming online in a matter of weeks, pending emergency approval.

He referenced health disparities and how the virus affects minorities and those lower on the economic ladder especially hard. 

‘There has to be some equity in the way this is distributed,’ he said. He noted COVID-19 has become the leading cause of death for the last week, when it passed heart disease. 

For ‘communities of color it’s a mass casualty event,’ Biden said.

‘the equity side this has to be an important part of distribution,’ Biden said. 

He said just getting the vaccine to pharmacy chains like Wall-Mart isn’t enough, and called for a focus on ‘how we get the vaccine to those communities.’

‘The cost of actually getting the serum into an injection, into a needle into somebody’s arm costs a lot of money. It takes a lot of people. It takes a lot of folks to be able to get that done.’ 

‘We have to have a much better way than they have seen thus far as to how it’s distributed,’ Biden said.

His criticism came despite the Trump administration saying for months that military officials had been making arrangements to get millions of doses out the door once vaccines get approved.

There are huge logistical challenges, including the need to keep vaccine stored at a very cold temperature, the need for vials to contain it, and persuading Americans to take it. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s chief Stephen Hahn said Friday he believes 20 million Americans could realistically get the vaccine this year. 

‘We expect to move quickly,’ after that meeting, Hahn told Reuters. 

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