NBC News Features Akin Gump Consultant Mario Ramirez Speaking on COVID-19 Challenges, Vaccine

Akin Gump health care and life sciences consultant Dr. Mario Ramirez appeared on NBC News NOW and spoke on the COVID-19 pandemic and a forecast for the immediate future.

Ramirez, who served as acting director of the Office of Pandemic and Emerging Threats at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration, said the country is at an inflection point. He believes the change in administrations will represent a significant change in the way the U.S. approaches the pandemic.

He noted that the pandemic is not under control, but his hope is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, the country can start to “turn the curve.” Ramirez said that the country’s path will be determined by the speed with which the U.S. can get vaccines into people and whether that can blunt the impact of the “U.K. variant” of the coronavirus on the U.S. population and health care system.

Regarding vaccines, Ramirez said, “The problem we’ve had up to this point has, primarily, been about getting vaccines into the arms. So far, we’ve had enough supply to get the doses out; we just haven’t had enough people to actually give the vaccines. And, so, the Biden administration has signaled a pretty clear plan about how they want to solve that problem.” He noted, in that regard, plans to set up 100 federal centers around the country and to distribute vaccines to community health centers. However, he said that the question will be whether supply can keep up with demand for vaccines.

Ramirez also spoke on the advisability of travel restrictions into the United States and on potential side effects of the vaccine.

To watch the full segment, click here.