Vaccinations against the CCP virus in the United States will “hopefully” begin next month, a top official from the government’s vaccine development effort said on Nov. 22.
“On the 11th or on the 12th of December, 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 vaccines,” Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN on Sunday.
Slaoui said that some 70 percent of America’s 330 million population would need to receive a vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, in order for herd immunity to be achieved in the country.
Both Moderna and Pfizer recently announced that their test trials for the CCP virus vaccine were successful and have more than a 90 percent efficacy rate.
AstraZeneca also said on Monday its vaccine for the CCP virus, developed along with Oxford University, could be around 90 percent effective under one dosing regimen.
Slaoui said that by mid-December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would likely grant approval for distribution of the vaccine produced by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours of approval” by the FDA, Slaoui said, suggesting that some 20 million Americans could be vaccinated in December, with 30 million per month after that.
An FDA vaccine advisory committee is expected to meet on Dec. 10.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, separately told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he believes herd immunity could be achieved if enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19. He added, however, that he doesn’t think the scenario would be possible until May.
“If you get an overwhelming majority of people vaccinated, with a highly efficacious vaccine, we can reasonably quickly get to the herd immunity that would be a blanket of protection for the country,” he said.
Herd immunity refers to when a population becomes immune to an infectious disease. Doctors say it will eventually be reached for all populations, and can be assisted by, but is not dependent upon, a vaccine.
The Trump administration on Nov. 12 struck a deal with pharmacies across the United States for them to help distribute the vaccine “as quickly as possible with no out-of-pocket costs.”
On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said that the plan—supported by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed—would involve both large chain pharmacies and networks representing independent pharmacies and regional chains.
Partnership with pharmacy chains covers around 60 percent of pharmacies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These include names like Albertsons, Costco, CVS, Publix, Walgreens, and Walmart, with a complete list available in the HHS release.
Operation Warp Speed involves cooperation between federal agencies and the private sector to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Tom Ozimek and Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times