Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden says he will take COVID-19 vaccine if "body of scientists" says it's ready

Joe Biden said at an ABC town hall Thursday night that he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine if one became available by the end of the year "if the body of scientists" says it's ready.

Why it matters: Biden and others have expressed fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.

Biden also said he would be open to making a safe vaccine mandatory depending on its efficacy, how much the virus is spreading and "when it comes out and how it's being distributed."

  • But he acknowledged that as president, he wouldn't be able to enforce such a mandate. "That's the problem," Biden said. "You can't say, 'Everyone has to do this.'"
  • Instead, he said he would encourage governors and local officials to tell their constituents to get the vaccine.

What he's saying: "The point is that if the scientists, if the body of scientists say that this is what is ready to be done and it's been tested, they've gone through the three phases, yes, I would take it and I'd encourage people to take it."

  • Biden said he meets with leading scientists several times a week to be briefed on the potential vaccine: "They're not there yet. And most scientists say, it's not likely to have a vaccine that would be available until the beginning of next year, into the spring of next year."

Go deeper ... Biden: "I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump"

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