Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed’s vaccine efforts, said the first people in the United States could get vaccinated for COVID-19 next month.
Slaoui said the administration’s goal is to distribute an approved vaccine within 24 hours of its approval by the Food and Drug Administration. A committee is expected to meet in December to approve Pfizer’s emergency authorization request for its vaccine candidate, found to be 95% effective in preventing the coronavirus.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe on day two after the approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,” Slaoui told CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Hopefully, the first people to be immunized across the United States, across all states in all of the areas where the state departments will have told us where to deliver the vaccines.”
Slaoui added that in order for true herd immunity among the population to take place, roughly 70% of people would need to be immunized, which means more trust in the vaccine process must be present.
“I really hope and look forward to seeing that the level of negative perception of the vaccine decreases and people’s acceptance increase,” Slaoui said. “That is going to be critical to help us. Most people need to be immunized before we can go back to a normal life.”
The U.S. has now had over 12 million cases of the coronavirus and over 255,000 deaths.
Author: Mica Soellner
Source: Washington Examiner: First of US public could get COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, top official says