US plans to immunize 100 million people by end of February
The U.S. is hoping to give a COVID-19 vaccine to 100 million people by the end of February, the head of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed told reporters Wednesday.
Moncef Slaoui said that number essentially represents all the nation’s frontline health workers, the elderly, and people with underlying conditions.
Slaoui said he is basing that number on the number of vaccines that could be available from both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. If Johnson & Johson’s vaccine is authorized before then, there is potential for even more people to be vaccinated, he said. Slaoui said that based on how quickly the coronavirus is spreading, he expects the company to release late-stage trial data in January.
According to Slaoui, the companies have manufactured and stockpiled enough doses so the government can send 40 million doses to states in December, 60 million doses in January and 100 million doses by the end of February.
More allocations: According to Warp Speed CEO Gen. Gustave Perna, the government plans to ship out 6.4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine within 24 hours of it getting the green light from the Food and Drug Administration. Officials plan to send 12.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine in the same period.
No vaccine has been authorized in the U.S. yet, but states have a Friday to deadline to submit their distribution plans to the Trump administration. An emergency authorization could come as early as next week.