The Moroccan expert is confident that his inter-departmental team, with the support of military and private sector partners, will be able to achieve the objective.
Rabat – The chief scientific officer of the US’ “Operation Warp Speed” to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, declared today that he is “very confident” his team will deliver a vaccine by the end of 2020.
At a Rose Garden press conference at the White House, Slaoui told President Trump that recent data from a clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine made him feel “very confident” of his team’s ability to deliver a few hundred million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this year.
The press conference follows the official announcement earlier today that President Trump appointed the Moroccan-born expert as the head of the “warp speed” operation.
“We are proud to announce … that the Chief Scientific Officer of Operation Warp Speed will be Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a world-renowned immunologist who has helped create fourteen new vaccines … in ten years during his tenure in the private sector,” the US President announced.
President Trump described Dr. Slaoui as “one of the most respected men in the world in the production and formulation of vaccines.”
Trump said that the objective of Operation Warp Speed is “to complete the development and then manufacture and distribute a proven coronavirus vaccine as quickly as possible.”
“Very honored and privileged” to lead this “extraordinary undertaking” in the service of the global population, Dr. Slaoui said that the objectives of the operation are very clear, very credible, and extremly challenging.
Despite inevitable difficulties, the virology expert is confident that his inter-departmental government team, with the support of military and private sector partners, will be able to achieve the objective.
Operation Warp Speed aims to make 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available by November, 200 million doses by December, and 300 million doses by January 2021.
Speaking about the COVID-19 expected vaccine on April 12, Slaoui said he expects life to begin its return to “normal” at the beginning of 2021 after global leaders rein in the pandemic, adding that he considers his prediction “optimistic.”
Slaoui earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology and immunology from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, and completed his postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston.
The US is the global epicenter of the virus, with over 1.45 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, including more than 86,000 deaths, as of May 15. Globally, COVID-19 cases stand at 4.48 million, including 304,000 deaths.