US coronavirus vaccine programme head Dr. Moncef Slaoui has said that the first set of American people could get vaccinated as early as December 11. Slaoui, while speaking to CNN on Sunday, November 22, said that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet on December 10 to decide on the approval of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine and as soon as it gets a go-ahead, the vaccine will be deployed to the immunisation sites.
Pfizer announced its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate on November 10 and submitted an application to the US FDA for emergency use authorisation (EUA) on November 20. Slaoui said that the vaccine would be distributed based on each state's population during a nationwide vaccination programme, but at the same time, also added that the states will be responsible for deciding who gets the vaccine first.
Slaoui said that the vaccine would be distributed across the United States based on each state's population. The states would most likely prioritize high-risk populations first, such as medical professionals, security officials, and the elderly. Slaoui said that if everything goes well and according to the plan, by mid-next year the country would achieve "herd immunity" as more than 70 percent of the population are expected to be vaccinated by then.
Pfizer, which developed the vaccine in partnership with German company BioNTech, is expected to produce 50 million doses of its vaccine candidate by the end of this year and is projected to produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. According to the American pharmaceutical giant, each person would need two doses in order to create an immune response. Pfizer's vaccine has shown 90 percent efficacy in early studies.
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