I wouldn't demand it be mandatory: Biden on vaccine

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Dec 05, 2020, 04:22 PM(IST)

File Photo Photograph:( AFP )

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A panel of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) had said that health workers and nursing home residents should get vaccinated first with non-binding recommendations for 'Phase 1a' of distribution to US states.

As the US Food and Drugs Association(FDA) prepares to judge the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines this month, US President-elect Joe Biden said the vaccine won't be made "mandatory" but he would do everything in his "powers as president" to encourage people to do the "right thing".

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Biden when asked if the vaccine should be made mandatory, said: "No, I don't think it should be mandatory, I wouldn't demand it be mandatory but I would do everything in my power - just like I don't think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide."

"I'll do everything in my power as President of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing and when they do it, to demonstrate that it matters," Biden asserted.

A panel of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) had said that health workers and nursing home residents should get vaccinated first with non-binding recommendations for "Phase 1a" distribution to US states.

Reports say the US is set to vaccinate at least 40 million people this month if both Pfizer and Moderna are approved with both vaccines needing two shots. CDC said that after December US authorities expect to receive between five and 10 million doses per week. 

The FDA will be meeting on December 10 to evaluate the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which the company says is 95 effective. 

The Trump administration had started "Operation Warp Speed" to develop a coronavirus vaccine as the number of infections rose in the United States earlier this year. The United States is the worst-hit country with the virus with over 14.3 million cases and over 278,900 deaths.

Vice-President Mike Pence had earlier that the CDC approval of the coronavirus vaccine could be "a week-and-a-half away." 

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