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First COVID-19 Vaccinations Expected As Early As Dec. 11, White House Vaccine Czar Says

Hayley Miller
·2-min read

The chief science adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s program to accelerate vaccine development during the pandemic, said he expects the first Americans to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as early as Dec. 11.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer submitted an application on Friday to the Food and Drug Administration requesting approval for emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine. Early data shows the vaccine to be 95% effective.

An FDA advisory committee is scheduled to review Pfizer’s application on Dec. 10, the agency announced Friday.

“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours of the approval,” Moncef Slaoui, the top scientist for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“So I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States,” he added.

The first wave of vaccinations are expected to go to front-line health care workers and emergency responders, followed by those most vulnerable, including the elderly.

Slaoui said Sunday that the White House’s plan is to vaccinate 20 million people in December and as many as 30 million people each month after that. Children likely won’t be able to receive the vaccine until mid-2021, he added.

“How many Americans need to be vaccinated for life to be able to return to normal and when might that happen?” asked host Jake Tapper.

With a vaccine that has a 95% efficacy rate, typically 70% of the population must receive the vaccination in order to allow for herd immunity, Slaoui...

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