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Former CDC Director gives insight on coronavirus vaccine, flu season

Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden gave perspective today on topics surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

TAMPA, Fla. — Much of the ongoing conversation around getting our country back to a sense of normalcy focuses on a vaccine for COVID-19.

It has to be safe, effective and trusted. That's what former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said about the vaccine. He also said the vaccine alone is not going to make this virus disappear, but it is an important tool. 

He says there are still a lot of questions around how to get it to people, who will get it first and how you get people to trust it. 

RELATED: Possible COVID-19 vaccines: Understanding the different types

Frieden says these are new vaccines and we need data and transparency.

"How many people are enrolled, what the full protocol is, when the DSMB is meeting, what it will make its determination based on -- these are knowable things, they're in the protocol and they should be in the public domain as well," he said.

Frieden says there is a high likelihood one or more vaccines will be identified in the next few months. He says it has to be safety first with this vaccine. And, it needs to be tracked and results need to be open with the public. 

RELATED: Fauci: Life back to normal in late 2021, even with COVID-19 vaccine

There's also been a big push from health experts to get your flu shot this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Frieden predicts we won't see as many cases of flu this calendar year. 

Why? He's looking at what's happening in the Southern Hemisphere. But, that doesn't mean let your guard down. 

"If you doubted that COVID is more infectious than the flu, look at South Africa or Chile, where COVID is spreading like wildfire and the flu isn't spreading at all," he said.

 Frieden says the low rate of flu suggests that measures we're taking to control COVID-19 are going to be helpful to reduce the flu and other diseases. 

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