Uber and Moderna partner on COVID-19 vaccine access and information
Jan 13 2021
This will attempt to address a reoccurring issue states have faced in trying to administer the vaccine through hospitals and medical providers that have said they don't have the resources or personnel to serve as vaccination clinics.
Some states, including Arizona, have or are planning to open up mass vaccination centers, aiming to inoculate thousands of people a day in a single location. State and local public health authorities will have to junk some plans and draft others. "We want to bring an affordable vaccine to the public, with the goal of providing 1 billion doses in 2021 and more after that". "We've got to get it to pharmacies, get it to community health centers".
Although Azar said the shift was a natural evolution of the Trump administration's efforts, as recently as Friday he had raised questions about whether Biden's call to accelerate supplies was prudent.
Many U.S. states had strict rules in place giving shots to healthcare workers and nursing home residents first, telling so-called "non-essential workers" they might have to wait months for their turn.
But the slow pace of the vaccine rollout has frustrated many Americans at a time when the coronavirus death toll has continued to rise. More than 376,000 people have died, according to the Johns Hopkins database.
"We're in a race against this virus and quite frankly, we're behind", U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told "Fox & Friends". The inoculation program also has to contend with significant misinformation proliferating on social media about vaccine safety, and any app with the surface area of something like Uber has a chance to get positive messages and accurate information in front of a lot of people, so that's good news on its own. Then between June and September, the plan is to vaccinate almost 20 million more people, seeing Canada hitting and surpassing the herd immunity threshold.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to give a speech Thursday outlining his plan to speed vaccines to more people in the first part of his administration.
Azar on Tuesday also announced that Operation Warp Speed will no longer hold back half of vaccine supplies, a move it took to ensure that when people need to get their booster dose, there was enough available to give them a second, matching vaccine in the timeframe required - 21 days for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, and 28 days for the one developed by Moderna.
The vaccine - developed by the company's Belgian division, Janssen Pharmaceutica - differs from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which use mRNA technology.
Two coronavirus vaccines have been authorized for inoculations in the United States, produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. One-shot vaccines are still undergoing testing.