White House Coronavirus Task Force member says a vaccine could soon be approved

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — As COVID-19 continues impacting millions, the White House deputy chief of staff speaks on the infections here in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s definitely getting better, we see the curves flattening and beginning to decline,” said Dr. John Fleming, assistant to the president for planning and implementation and member of the coronavirus task force.

Dr. Fleming said infection rates and fatalities are going down as new treatments become available.

“Just approved by the FDA is convalescent plasma which is literally the infusion of antibodies into a person from someone who’s had the disease,” he said.  

Testing in the RGV has become easier to access in the past few months, but Dr. Fleming said even though it’s available, he wants people to be mindful before getting tested. 

“We do recommend that people not just take a test because they are curious but take a test if there’s a good reason if you’ve been exposed or certainly, if you have symptoms, then consult your physician,” he said.

When it comes to vaccines, Dr. Fleming said the United States is expected to have a fully approved vaccine by the end of the year. 

“We have phase 3 testing for two perhaps even three vaccine candidates so far that means 30,000 people each are getting it in order to determine that it’s safe but also to test to be sure that it’s effective,” he said.

Dr. Fleming said data for the vaccine shows promising results and adds they are doing everything they can to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine when it becomes available.

In order to keep infection rates down, experts are advising everyone to continue following CDC guidelines and practice social distancing.

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