Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the studio.
During the third hour, Brewer outlined the pros and cons of a COVID-19 vaccine implementation and it’s potential. He later explained how it would most likely be offered to first responders, police, and doctors, and nurses in consideration of their essential positions.
(Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel clip plays)
The FDA has indicated to us that it is likely the advisory committee (Inaudible talk) the meeting should happen on December 17, and hopefully, if everything goes well in the next couple of weeks. You could expect between I would say a day to two to three days after we are back meeting the production approval.
Leahy: The guy’s name is Stephane Bancel. He’s in charge of the Moderna vaccine project. And he says the approval could happen later this month. Clint Brewer our All-Star panelists talking today about the three big issues that will define 2021. Number two we talked about in the last segment was America’s relationship with China.
I agree with that. Number one. The potential and the implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine which Stephane Bancel of Moderna was talking about. I agree. That’s the number one issue. Tell me you’ve looked into this more than I have. What what do you see? What are the pluses and minuses the issues to be aware of as the vaccine rollout begins?
Brewer: Well, I think it’s really distribution and access. I mean, you know, some of these vaccines require two doses over a certain period of time. I read something yesterday where one of them actually is more effective with a single dose. So you know what?
Leahy: I think I want that one.
Brewer: Well, yeah, you know yeah. (Leahy chuckles) So I think it’s going to come down to from you know medical efficacy standpoint what’s the most effective one? And then from a logistics standpoint which one is the most available? It’s going to come in waves. I mean I’ve read reports that the first round and rightly so would go to medical personnel and first responder people who are on the front lines and the most likely to be exposed as part of their jobs. and the people that are healthy so they can continue to treat patients.
So that’s step one. I think that you’re going to see you know, everyone from state guards and National Guard gets involved at you can call it the military, but it’s not like we’re sending the 101st in to distribute the vaccine. I mean it’s going to be Guardsmen and kind of what we’ve seen this state. I think you’ll see a sort of a patchwork quilt across the country of distribution systems. I think challenges will be I’ll be as anything is in healthcare.
Getting it to the very rural areas that are sparsely populated and making sure it penetrates the inner cities that are densely populated. And you know, so we have a huge logistical challenge ahead of us. And then you know, it’s getting that vaccine into the mainstream of what Americans do every year. kind of like a flu shot. because I mean it’s not going away. It’s not like everybody gets vaccinated and it melts into history as polio did at one time. It’s not going to happen.
Leahy: It’s really like you get your annual COVID shot.
Leahy: As I age the number of shots that I have to get…
Brewer: It’s just it goes up.
Leahy: I got the flu shot. I need to get shingles one of the shots for shingles because I’m in that age group. Haven’t done that yet. I’m told do it right. Because if you get the shot you don’t have to deal with it.
Brewer: They should just give you a super shot. They just need to dart you is what they need to do as you’re running down the street.
Leahy: I guess these approvals are going to happen in December, right?
Brewer: It sounds like it.
Leahy: Yeah, when will these begin? What’s the rollout? Will it have to go to first responders first?
Brewer: Yeah. I mean, I think it goes to, you know medical personnel. It’s going to go to Doctors and nurses and people, you know orderlies people who you know who work in hospitals and doctors offices so they can keep treating people for everything. You know, he’s been a huge dip in other surgeries during waves of COVID-19 and we need to get people back to healthiness to the extent that we can. And we need to protect our first responders who are out there dealing with people in all kinds of settings. I have a friend in West Tennessee who told me that he’s got a parent in a managed care facility and that they’re already scheduling those.
Leahy: Well, that would be the next logical place to go because it’s done by a managed care facility.
Brewer: Yeah, then you go to your most vulnerable. Definitely folks in nursing homes and managed care facilities.
Leahy: Looking into your crystal ball of logistics when do you think it will be available for the average person to take this vaccine?
Brewer: I think round one will be available late spring, early summer.
Leahy: Okay. So we’re talking by June.
Brewer: Yeah. If the Biden administration plays it smartly and it’s not all in the hands of the Biden administration, but they have a lot of say so.
Leahy: Let me just add the potential Biden administration.
Brewer: The likely Biden administration at this point. I think that the administration will have a lot to do with directing that. I think that you know, there should be a push to get people vaccinated in time for you know, gosh we need cities like Nashville to come back from the brink. I mean we need a tourism-oriented summer here that’s safe and healthy and okay to participate in.
Leahy: So if it all goes well and everybody has their shot by June, the other thing to think about is side effects. We don’t know the trend. The clinical trials have gone well apparently. But you never know.
Brewer: Well, I mean, I think there’s you know with any vaccine. I mean I know with the flu vaccine some people need to take a couple of Tylenol after they get it just because you know may make you feel poorly for a day or half a day. But I mean, I don’t I think that’s the issue with the vaccine. That’s what the trials are for. It’s to make sure there are as few side effects as possible. The things that I’ve seen and I don’t know if it’s the Moderna vaccine or one of the other drug companies, but it’s showing at this point a lot more effectiveness and protection than the flu vaccine. But you’ve got to remember the seasonal flu vaccine is developed just for that. A seasonal flu.
Leahy: Every year it’s a new one.
Brewer: That mutates every year. I think we have a long way to go with COVID-19 to figure out if this a virus that’s going to mutate? Is a different version of it going to come back every year?
Leahy: From your reading and by the way, neither of us are medical professionals.
Brewer: No. Far from it. We just know what we read in the papers or at the Tennessee Star.
Brewer: We are analysts. We are synthesizing.
Leahy: Oh, that’s right. That’s right. So from everything you’ve read then you’re saying that it would be surprising to you if the vaccine had significant problems in its implementation?
Brewer: I mean if the reports are correct. It sounds like it’s an effective vaccine the various versions of it. I think the issue is going to be how do we get it across geographically.
Leahy: Let’s say we get to June and you know 80 percent of America has been vaccinated for this. What happens to all the COVID-19 restrictions on lockdowns at that time? Do they go away?
Brewer: What happens is you get lockdowns in the event of hot spots. And so if there’s not an infection hotspot, then there won’t be a lockdown. Why would you lock anybody down if they are not getting sick?
Leahy: Well, maybe I mean I’m going to express a little skepticism about that. I think these Democratic mayors and governors love to lock people down. They love the power!
Brewer: I think they like tax revenue more.
Leahy: I don’t know. I think they like the power. I think that in and let me just say I think that there is the assumption. We’re doing crystal ball stuff right now about what’s going to happen. I think that the premise that if the vaccine is widespread that the premise that the Democratic mayors and governors will give up some of their lockdown authoritarian usurpations of power.
Brewer: That may outrank bifurcation.
Leahy: You like that? Usurpation.
Brewer: That’s a good one.
Leahy: Usurpation. Illegally taking power that is not yours.
Brewer: I think that’s a better word of the day for this show than bifurcation. That’s more a brand for you. Usurpation.
Leahy: Yeah, I think we’ll call that the word of the day.
Brewer: I think that’s perfect.
Leahy: Yeah, so these usurpations Clint. But the Democrats I think they would be they are going to be reluctant to give them up. And so they’re going to be even they’ll say well even though the COVID-19 vaccine appears to be effective we still need to have lockdowns.
Brewer: I think somebody out there will feel that way and try to be that way. At some point people want to go back to COVID business as usual, right? I mean, it’s some at some point…
Leahy: I totally agree.
Brewer: At some point, the priorities everyone left on the table in 2019 are going to come back. So that means you know mayors are going to be back to dealing with mundane things like pay raises for educators and hiring more cops and paving streets. And how do they get all that money? Well, people have to have businesses that are open and functioning. And you have to have consumers going and buying goods.
Listen to the third hour here:
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