Moncef Slaoui, the scientific head of Operation Warp Speed, said Sunday that the U.S. plans to distribute about 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020.
“We plan to have about 40 million doses of the vaccine available to us and distributed in the US by the end of this year,” Slaoui said on “Fox News Sunday,” adding that the U.S. would distribute up to 80 million doses through January.
“All in all, we hope to have immunized 100 million people which would be the long-term care facility people, the elderly people with comorbidities, the frontline workers, the health care workers,” he added. “We will have immunized about 100 million people by the first quarter of 2021.”
Asked by host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceWolf Blitzer will host an evening newscast on CNN's streaming service Audie Cornish hired by CNN, will host show and podcast on streaming service The five biggest media stories of 2021 MORE about the point at which Americans would have herd immunity, Slaoui said “we need to have immunized about 75 to 80 percent” to reach that point. He added that it is vital that most Americans opt to take the vaccine in the meantime for it to be effective and reach that point.
Wallace asked if reluctance to take the vaccine was widespread enough, whether herd immunity would fail to take effect.
“Unfortunately, I think it would,” Slaoui said. “I think it would be a very unfortunate outcome, frankly I’m very concerned by this level of hesitancy, which is not based in any facts or data. The perception that people are thinking that we cut corners or anything like that I can guarantee you that no such things have happened.”
Wallace asked Slaoui about reports that White House Chief of Staff Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsLaura Ingraham 'not saying' if she'd support Trump in 2024 Tucker Carlson extends influence on GOP Jan. 6 panel asks McCarthy to cooperate MORE threatened Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen HahnStephen HahnFormer Trump FDA commissioner says yearly COVID-19 boosters may be needed The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid Overnight Health Care — White House touts vaccine rate for feds MORE’s job if the vaccine was not approved. Hahn has denied the reports.
Slaoui said that while “those are rumors,” “I do think it’s not helpful, because it’s not needed.”
“If that phone call happened I think it was useless and unfortunate and so are some of the tweets” from President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE, he added.