Former Vice President Joe Biden reacted to the news of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine, warning that an effective vaccination remains “months” away and urging Americans to continue social distancing and wearing masks.
“Today’s news of a second vaccine is further reason to feel hopeful. What was true with the first vaccine remains true with the second: we are still months away,” Biden said on Monday, urging Americans to “continue to practice social-distancing and mask-wearing to get the virus under control”:
Once again, I congratulate the brilliant women and men who produced this breakthrough and have brought us one step closer to beating this virus. I am also thankful for the frontline workers who are still confronting the virus around the clock.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 16, 2020
On Monday, Moderna announced that its vaccine for the Chinese coronavirus is heading in the right direction, proving to be 94.5 percent effective in clinical trials:
We just announced that mRNA-1273, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, has met its primary efficacy endpoint in the first interim analysis of the Phase 3 COVE study.
Read more: https://t.co/vYWEy8CKCv pic.twitter.com/YuLubU1tlx
— Moderna (@moderna_tx) November 16, 2020
Last week, Pfizer announced similarly positive news based on early data, which indicated that its vaccination is 90 percent effective.
Dr. Bill Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president of clinical development, told the Associated Press that they were now in a position to “potentially” offer “some hope.”
“We’re very encouraged,” he told the outlet.
On Friday, President Donald Trump predicted that the vaccination would be widely available by April, calling Operation Warp Speed “unequaled and unrivaled anywhere in the world.”
Despite the positivity from the Trump administration, Biden has maintained a cautionary tone and remains open to further restrictions and lockdowns, should experts recommend them. Dr. Michael Osterholm, who serves on Biden’s advisory board, has floated a 4-6 week nationwide lockdown.
“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said during a Wednesday appearance on CNBC.
“If we did that, then we could lock down for four-to-six weeks,” he added.
On Sunday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested that Americans continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, even after a vaccine is widely available.