Biden to meet with U.S. vaccine adviser Slaoui this week

Coronavirus

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE – DECEMBER 04: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden holds up a mask as he speaks on November job numbers at the Queen theater December 4, 2020 Wilmington, Delaware. U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November and pushed the unemployment rate to 6.7% from 6.9% in October. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The chief adviser for U.S. efforts on coronavirus vaccines said on Sunday he planned to meet with President-elect Joe Biden this week to discuss coronavirus vaccines as they are expected to be rolled out to the first Americans later this month.

Moncef Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed chief adviser, said he has not yet met with Biden, who has criticized the Trump administration’s vaccine distribution plan.

“We really look forward to it because actually things have been really very appropriately planned,” Slaoui said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Biden said on Friday his team had not seen a detailed plan from the Trump administration to distribute vaccine to various states.

“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.

He said the distribution process for the vaccines, which need to be stored at very low temperatures, is difficult and expensive. “There’s a lot more that has to be done.”

Slaoui said part of the confusion may be that the government’s plan relies on state health agencies to deliver the vaccine.

“But there are videos, there are explanations exactly how to go about it. We plan to have all the ancillary materials the syringes, the needles, the swabs,” Slaoui said.

“I think the plans are there and I feel confident that once we will explain it, everything in detail. I hope the new transition team will understand that things are well planned.”

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