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US President-elect Joe Biden congratulates Pfizer on COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough

 

US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday (November 9, 2020) congratulated Pfizer following the announcement from its Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla that the first set of results from their Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of their vaccine's ability to prevent the coronavirus.

"Last night, my public health advisors were informed of this excellent news. I congratulate the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope," said Biden.

He added, "At the same time, it is also important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away. This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some Americans are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country."

"This is why the head of the CDC warned this fall that for the foreseeable future, a mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine. Today’s news does not change this urgent reality. Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact.

"America is still losing over 1,000 people a day from COVID-19, and that number is rising — and will continue to get worse unless we make progress on masking and other immediate actions. That is the reality for now, and for the next few months. Today’s announcement promises the chance to change that next year, but the tasks before us now remain the same," said Biden.

Earlier in the day, the Biden-Harris Transition announced the formation of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, a team of leading public health experts who will advise President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Harris, and the Transition’s COVID-19 staff. 

"Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts," said President-elect Biden. 

"The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations," he added.

In the US, the new cases are reportedly rising in at least 40 states, with more than 9.3 million total infections and more than 2,36,000 coronavirus deaths.

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