Story at a glance
- Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday said general vaccination programs should be operating by the end of March to early April.
- Vulnerable populations will receive vaccinations by the end of December.
- Health care professionals and first responders can expect to be vaccinated by January.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday said there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans by spring 2021 after Pfizer on Monday announced early data showing its vaccine candidate to be 90 percent effective.
“We have anticipated that we will have enough vaccine by the end of December to have vaccinated our most vulnerable citizens in nursing homes and otherwise,” Azar said during an appearance on NBC's “Today” show Tuesday.
“And by the end of January, enough for all health care workers and first responders, and enough for all Americans by the end of March to early April to have general vaccination programs,” he said.
Azar said Pfizer will be producing and delivering about 20 million doses of vaccine each month starting at the end of November.
Azar also applauded the emergency use authorization for an Eli Lilly antibody drug to treat mild to moderate coronavirus infections in adults and children, saying there have been “incredible advances for human health this week.”
Pfizer on Monday said it hopes to have the safety data required for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) emergency use authorization by the third week of November. The FDA has set a minimum of 50 percent effectiveness for a vaccine to receive the approval.
The pharmaceutical giant said it expects to deliver 50 million doses of its experimental vaccine before the end of the year and up to 1.3 billion in 2021.
Currently, the U.S. is experiencing a record-breaking outbreak of COVID-19, averaging more than 112,000 new infections per day with nearly 1,000 new deaths, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
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