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The U.S. should expedite AstraZeneca vaccine authorization

The U.S. should expedite AstraZeneca vaccine authorization

February 26, 2021: Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, told CNBC’s that “The News with Shepard Smith” that U.S. people should not become complacent due to the dropping Covid cases, especially between the new reports of a new variant that has spread in New York.

“We’re all high fiving ourselves because the numbers are decreasing, and I say that we are in the eye of the hurricane, and the next big wave is on the way,” Hotez added.

Coronavirus daily cases in the U.S., on average, have dropped by 57%, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

However, some states are not seeing a sharp decline. Vermont is only down 22% in average daily cases, New York down by 45%, Oregon nearly 47%, and Florida is down 48% in moderate daily cases.

Hotez singled Florida out for the prevalence of a major transmissible new variant in the state that was found in the U.K first.

“The one state that intrigues me, not necessarily in a good way, is Florida because we are hearing that about 10% of the virus isolates coming out of Florida is that B.117 variant that came out of the United Kingdom,” said Hotez on Wednesday in an evening interview.

Hotez urged that this time the U.S. should be making a push to vaccinate, especially before more Covid variants spread.

While AstraZeneca reports that it expects the authorized vaccine in the U.S. in April, Hotez said, “I think we have to think about calling the audible” and should confirm it sooner.

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