Biden Says He’s Launching Campaign on Vaccine Safety, Efficacy
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden said his administration would undertake a major effort to reassure Americans of the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines, in order to overcome reticence among some people to take the shots that could end the pandemic.
“We’re going to launch a massive campaign to educate people about the vaccines,” Biden said on a visit to a federal mass vaccination site in Houston. “That they are safe and effective and they can go and get those vaccines and be good.”
About a quarter of Americans say they won’t take a dose of the coronavirus vaccines, and there is a partisan divide on the issue -- much as around public health guidance to wear masks and take other precautions against infection. More than four in 10 Republicans say they’ll avoid a vaccine if they can, compared to just 10% of Democrats, according to a poll by Monmouth University published Feb. 3.
“The vaccines are safe, I promise you, they are safe and effective,” Biden said. “Listen to Dr. Fauci, listen to the scientists.” He was referring to Anthony Fauci, his chief medical adviser.
Biden has made curbing the pandemic his top priority. To get there, he needs as many Americans as possible seeking shots in order to reach what’s known as herd immunity, the point when the the virus is unable to easily circulate because so many people have either survived infection or been inoculated.
The president visited Houston on Friday both to review the response to an unusual winter storm that nearly collapsed the state’s power grid earlier this month and tout his administration’s vaccine program.
Earlier Friday, a new, single-dose coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson won the unanimous recommendation of a panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers. The shot’s emergency use authorization by the FDA is expected imminently, and the Biden administration has said it would begin delivering millions of doses as soon as next week.
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