ICAP’s Founder and Global Director, Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA spoke with Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on the importance of facing the race between the COVID-19 vaccines and continued spread of the virus.
“I think we are exactly at this watershed moment because what we have is the potential for garnering the benefits of the vaccines we have discovered thus far, while at the same time we’re also seeing the growth in terms of the numbers of new COVID cases, as well as also the identification of these new variants, these new mutations in the virus, that potentially could threaten the effectiveness of even our vaccines,” said El-Sadr.
“So I think what this means is that we have to do two things at the same time. We need to, as quickly as possible, expand access to the vaccines, both in this country, in the United States, as well as also around the world. That’s number one. And number two, we must continue to make every effort to stop transmission from one person to the next, because this is exactly what generates these mutations, these new variants. And that must continue to be done by the usual public health preventive measures that we are all familiar with. The physical distancing, the masking is critically important, avoiding large congregations of people, avoiding socializing at this point in time. So, I think we have to be working on these two pathways: scale up of vaccines locally and globally, and at the same time do everything we can to stop transmission of the virus.”