Biden surgeon general pick says vaccines may not be widely available in US til mid-summer

US President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for US surgeon general says it’s more realistic to think it may be mid-summer or early fall before coronavirus vaccines are available to the general population in the United States, rather than late spring.

Speaking on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Vivek Murthy says Biden’s team is working toward having coronavirus vaccines available to lower-risk individuals by late spring but doing so requires “everything to go exactly on schedule.”

Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, MD, 19th Surgeon General of United States, at the 5th annual Lake Nona Impact Forum, February 16, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. (Alex Menendez/AP Images for Lake Nona Impact Forum)

“I think it’s more realistic to assume that it may be closer to mid-summer or early fall when this vaccine makes its way to the general population,” Murthy says. “So, we want to be optimistic, but we want to be cautious as well.”

Murthy, who also served as surgeon general in the Obama administration, says Biden’s promise of 100 million vaccines during his first 100 days in office is realistic and that the Biden team has seen more cooperation from Trump administration officials.

— AP