DR. Gianrico Farrugia, CEO of the Mayo Clinic, urges Americans to take the first Covid-19 vaccine available to them.
“My message is very simple: don’t wait for a specific vaccine,” he told CNBC “Squawk Box” on Tuesday. “Get the first vaccine on the market because its benefits far outweigh the potential risk.”
Two coronavirus vaccines have been approved in the US by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use – one of Pfizer and BioNTech and the other off Moderna. The Moderna vaccine upon receipt limited release Fridaywill be launched this week. The first Americans outside of clinical trials started receiving gunfire of the Pfizer vaccine last week.
Currently, healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities are given priority in the first round of vaccination. However, as the number of doses available increases, a wider range of people can be immunized. On Sunday a panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that at the forefront, important workers and people 75 and over come next.
Doctor Diana Rodriguez will receive the Covid-19 vaccine with the first batch of Moderna’s vaccine on December 21, 2020 at Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut.
Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images
Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines, both of which are two vaccines, have shown strong efficacy in clinical trials. Pfizer reported 95% effectiveness in his large-scale study while Moderna’s vaccine was on more than 94% effective in preventing Covid.
“Having a vaccine that is 95% effective, like the two vaccines we currently have, is a medical miracle,” said Farrugia, who has headed the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, since January 2019.
Other vaccines could get FDA approval next year, which could help expand the pool of Americans who could get the vaccinations. Johnson & Johnson expects to receive data from its late-stage vaccination study early next year and possibly seek emergency approval in February.
The vaccines come at a critical time in the global pandemic. According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day average of new infections on Monday was 215,429, the sixth highest ever. The record high came last week. The last 7-day average of daily deaths in the US was 2,655, the worst run rate ever.
“It is important that people are trained and then vaccinated. This is the only way we can get out of this pandemic,” Farrugia said.