Washington: Top U.S. health officials announced plans on Tuesday to begin vaccinating Americans against the coronavirus as early as mid-December, as nationwide cases, hospitalizations and deaths continued to rise post-Thanksgiving holiday, reported Reuters.
Some 20 million people could be inoculated against COVID-19 by the end of 2020 after the FDA approval and most Americans will have access to highly effective vaccines by mid-2021, the chief adviser of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed program, Moncef Slaoui said.
Yet, Health officials pleaded with Americans to stick with coronavirus restrictions even with a vaccine in sight.
A Food and Drug Administration panel of outside advisers will meet on Dec. 10 to discuss whether to recommend emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE. Moderna’s vaccine candidate is expected to be reviewed a week later.
The timeline described by Slaoui and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar appeared to assume that the FDA’s authorization of the first vaccine would come within days of the Dec. 10 meeting.