EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Dr. Ogechika Alozie, an infectious disease specialist in El Paso, said residents should not be expecting the AstraZeneca vaccine any time before May, if it even gets approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
President Joe Biden announced a purchase of 200 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well as another 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Alozie said he believes by summer 2021, the U.S. should have enough vaccines for everyone without the rollout from AstraZeneca.
“I don’t believe it will play a significant role in the United States rollout — we already have multiple effective vaccines,” Alozie said, adding that in case of approval, AstraZeneca should create more supply that the U.S. could help disperse to other countries in need.
He explained that “it’s like saying that there’s a peeing section in the swimming pool. If we don’t get the rest of the world vaccinated, our lives continue to be problematic for an unforeseeable future.”
U.S. health officials announced Monday their concerns with efficacy studies for the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.
According to the Associated Press, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases issued a statement on Monday that “expressed concern that AstraZeneca may have included outdated information from that trial, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.”
The company is expected to file an application in the upcoming weeks, but the decision on whether the vaccine will become available in the U.S. will be determined by the FDA after review of the evidence.
Alozie said the conversation and education about all available vaccines should continue.
“When we look at the real world effectiveness of these vaccines, everywhere they have been given -hospitalizations, deaths and cases have dropped dramatically and that has to be the focus,” he said adding that “it’s not to say that we shouldn’t look at where there are issues of side effects and safety, people will still continue to look at them.”