The first Americans could be vaccinated against COVID-19 as early as Dec. 11, “if all things go according to plan,” according to the White House’s top scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval,” said Dr. Moncef Slaoui told CNN. “I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December.”
On Friday, Pfizer submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and an FDA vaccine advisory committee is slated to meet on Dec. 10. Slaoui said that means, if approved, the vaccine could be rolled out the next day, the news outlet reported.
“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 vaccine," Slaoui added.
Slaoui also said that based on plans and the amount of the population who need to be vaccinated, life could begin to return to normal as soon as May. "With the level of efficacy that has been shown in both Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines, 70% or so of the population being immunized would allow for true herd immunity to take place; that is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May, or something like that, based on our plans," Slaoui said.