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Operation Warp Speed head says 40M doses of vaccine will be distributed by end of the month

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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 Wallace 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 Meadows threatened Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn’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 Trump, he added.

Tags Chris Wallace Coronavirus Donald Trump Mark Meadows Moncef Slaoui Stephen Hahn

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