According to White House vaccine chief Dr. Moncef Slaoui on Sunday, the first Americans could receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as December 11th.
Speaking to CNN, Slaoui says Pfizer had submitted an application to the U.S. FDA for emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, and with the FDA vaccine advisory committee slated to meet on December 10th, the vaccine could be rolled out the next day, if given approval.
However, experts say there won't be enough vaccine for everyone, as the highest priority groups, including health care workers, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions will get the vaccine first.
The White House vaccine chief predicts that a wider distribution of vaccines could be available by the middle of next year.
Currently vaccine trials by Pfizer have been done on 12 to 14 year olds, though its unknown when the FDA would approve the vaccine for children.
However, Slaoui says the government is planning to run clinical trials in younger children, and then toddlers and infants on "an expedited basis" in the coming months", expecting by May 2021 that "toddlers, 4, 5 years old and down to 12 months old" could receive vaccines.
Slaoui also predicts that the U.S. might reach herd immunity from the virus by May next year.
According to a timeline laid out by Slaoui, Operation Warp Speed could distribute 20 million immunizations a month starting in December, meaning with 70 to 95 efficacy on the virus vaccines, that full herd immunity could be reached by the given time.
While the world awaits the first COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. FDA has issued an emergency use authorization of two monoclonal antibody treatments for mild cases of COVID-19.
Both are manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and known to have been used on President Trump when he was infected.
Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens such a COVID-19.
LEE Seung-jae, Arirang News.