Dr. Paul Offit (pictured) says he believes the US can get the coronavirus pandemic under control by June
A public health expert claims the US could control the spread of the new coronavirus this summer.
Despite America recording the highest one-day death toll with more than 4,300 fatalities, Dr. Paul Offit CNN’s new day he is optimistic for several reasons.
Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and a physician in the Infectious Diseases Division at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, says two new vaccines are expected to be approved soon, accelerating the national rollout.
He adds that with warmer weather and the incoming Biden government, the US could stop the broadcast of COVID-19 by June.
Currently, only two vaccines are approved for emergency use in the US: one by Pfizer and the other by Moderna.
Both require two doses and are given three to four weeks apart.
However, Offit says two “remarkably effective” vaccines are “around the corner” from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca / University of Oxford.
Initial results show that a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine induced an antibody response in 97 percent of the participants, while the AstraZeneca shot was found to be 70.4 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19.
He says mass vaccination sites will help speed rollout, as will the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines, which don’t need to be kept in freezers. Pictured: A dose of the AstraXeneca-0xford Covid-19 vaccine in Newcastle, England, Jan. 13
Mass vaccinations coupled with the number of people already infected will also help move the US closer to herd immunity. Pictured: People waiting in cars for coronavirus vaccination at a new ‘vaccination superstation’ in San Diego, Jan. 11
J & J’s vaccine is a one-time shot, and both companies have made shots that can be kept in the refrigerator.
This means that pharmacies and other medical centers can store them more easily because they don’t need the ultra-cold temperatures of the other two vaccines.
What’s more, having such an easy vaccine to distribute as massive vaccination sites have been set up all over the country.
Such locations in Citi Field, home of the New York Mets; Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots; the Pennsylvania Convention Center and even Disneyland.
This means that long lines of people do not have to wait in hospitals and the rollout is accelerated.
“We are finally beginning to understand how to administer en masse,” Offit told CNN.
Offit adds that President-elect Joe Biden’s new administration will have more stringent policies than those of the Trump administration. Pictured: Biden takes off his face mask to speak at an event at The Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware, Jan. 8
Between the number of people infected, which Offit says is between 65 and 70 million, and the number of people vaccinated, herd immunity could be achieved.
“That’s 20 percent of the population who won’t get sick if they are exposed to this virus again,” he said.
If at least 60 percent of the population gets the vaccine, he added, “then I really think we can stop the spread of this virus by June.”
Another factor that should help slow the spread is the upcoming warmer weather in the spring and summer.
Viruses tend to spread better in colder weather because the air is less humid and as more people congregate indoors. The coronavirus is no different.
And a May 2020 study of Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts found that the rate of coronavirus transmission slowed as the maximum daily temperature reached 52F.
“The weather is getting warmer, when the weather gets warmer it becomes much more difficult for this virus,” said Offit.
Finally, Offit says the policies of President-elect Joe Biden’s new administration will help slow the spread.
Biden’s approach to the pandemic is drastically different from President Donald Trump’s,
Trump repeatedly downplayed the severity of the pandemic, never encouraging the public to wear masks, and pushing for a vaccine to be approved before the Nov. 3 presidential election.
He also told several lies, including that suicide deaths would be greater than COVID-19 if the economy took a downward turn, that the outbreak would ‘disappear’ or ‘fade’ and that 99 percent of cases are harmless.
In comparison, Biden said he will ask everyone to wear a mask for his first 100 days in the office and plans to speed up vaccine distribution.
Offit told CNN that Biden’s government “is not in this cult of denial” and will “tackle this issue head-on.”