The chief scientific advisor to the US government’s vaccine program on Sunday said that the first Americans could receive the vaccine by December 11.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,” he told CNN Sunday morning,” said Dr. Moncef Slaoui chief scientific advisor to the US government’s vaccine program.
“Hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States, across all states, in all the areas where the State Departments of Health will have told us where to deliver the vaccine,” Dr Slaoui added.
This comes after the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and an FDA vaccine advisory committee is slated to meet December on 10.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the United States has recorded more than 12 million cases and 255,000 deaths, the highest tolls registered anywhere in the world.
According to Slaoui, if authorised by the FDA, the vaccine could be rolled out the next day.
He also said that based on plans, the amount of the population who need to be vaccinated for life to return to normal is likely to happen in May.
Slaoui said that with the level of efficacy that has been shown in both Pfizer and Moderna”s vaccines, “70 per cent or so of the population being immunised would allow for true herd immunity to take place, that is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May, or something like that based on our plans.”
“Most people need to be immunised before we can go back to a normal life,” he said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that coronavirus cases are “rapidly rising” across the country.
The CDC has urged Americans to avoid traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26 to prevent increased transmissions.
Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx White House coronavirus task force coordinator said that Americans should limit indoor gatherings to immediate households this Thanksgiving.