Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the former leader of Operation Warp Speed, is advising the European Union (EU) on its COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Slaoui was asked to help European Union officials on their vaccine rollout, he told Bloomberg. “I don’t have any kind of formal role,” he said. Slaoui added that he has spoken with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen multiple times and participated in a conference call with Von der Leyen and pharmaceutical company heads.
Von der Leyen announced on Twitter that pharmaceutical companies would be delivering more vaccines to the EU.
We are working with pharmaceutical companies to ensure vaccines are delivered to Europeans. #BioNTech/@pfizer will deliver 75 million of additional doses in the second quarter of the year – and up to 600 millions in total in 2021.
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) February 1, 2021
The European Union has struggled in its vaccine distribution. Only 2.5% of citizens in EU member countries have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the New York Times. The United Kingdom has given at least one shot to 13% of its population, and the United States has given shots to 7% of its population. Israel has vaccinated 57% of its citizens, the highest rate in the world, according to Our World In Data.
Slaoui served as the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed during the Trump Administration before resigning on Jan. 12 at the request of incoming President Joe Biden. The Biden Administration has criticized the Trump Administration’s vaccine distribution efforts, despite the fact that the United States was very close to hitting Biden’s one million vaccinations a day metric before he took office. (RELATED: Democratic Sen. Durbin Congratulates Trump Administration: ‘Warp Speed Project Appears To Be A Dramatic Success)
Slaoui served as head of vaccine development at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline from 2008 until his retirement in 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also was a professor of immunology at the University of Mons in Belgium, according to Morocco World News.