US expects to vaccinate 100 million people by February

Latest News

US expects to vaccinate 100 million people by February

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, USA (AFP) - The US hopes to have immunized 100 million people against COVID-19 by the end of February, a top official said Wednesday, which is approximately 40 percent of the country's adult population.

The push should start within weeks, when vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna-NIH are expected to be approved.

Each of these require two doses, the second after three weeks and four weeks, respectively.

"Between mid-December and the end of February, we will have potentially immunized 100 million people," Moncef Slaoui, scientific advisor to the government's Operation Warp Speed (OWS) programme, told reporters.

This, he continued, would cover the "at-risk" population comprising the elderly, health care workers and first responders.

There will be an "ample" amount of vaccine to immunize three million residents of long-term care facilities in December, said the former pharmaceutical executive, who was recruited by the administration of President Donald Trump in the spring.

The rest of the first tranche would be enough to reach the bulk of health care workers, if states and other territories agree with federal recommendations to prioritize this population.

As production of the two vaccines expands, 20 million will be reached in December, 30 million in January and 50 million in February, making 100 million total.

This figure, however, excludes other vaccines by Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca-Oxford that are in the late stages of development.

Slaoui said both could produce their results between the end of December and mid-January, paving the way for emergency approval by February if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives the green light.

Slaoui added that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine might be evaluated solely on the basis of a large US clinical trial involving 15,000 people, and not with data from Britain and Brazil where the data has been marred by a dosage issue.

While the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by Britain on Wednesday, the process is slower and more public in the US.

The FDA won't grant an emergency use authorization (EUA) before a public meeting of an advisory committee is held on December 10. For the Moderna vaccine, a similar meeting will occur on December 17.

Officials say that the logistics have been put in place to start distributing the vaccines, if approved, almost right away.

"When an EUA decision comes, distribution to the American people becomes immediate within 24 hours, that's our goal," said General Gus Perna, chief operating officer of OWS.

Right now he is expecting to deliver the first doses on December 15.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT