The Huffington Post reports that pharmaceutical company Pfizer filed its application with the FDA to request approval for emergency use of its vaccine with early data revealing that the treatment is 95 percent effective. Pfizer’s application will be reviewed by an FDA advisory committed on Dec. 10.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours of the approval,” Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientist advisor for Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, told CNN.
He continued, “So I would expect maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or on the 12th of December, hopefully, the first people will be immunized across the United States.”
The vaccine will first be made available to front-line healthcare workers and emergency responders, then to at-risk groups, like the elderly. Slaoui said the White House’s plan is to inoculate 20 million people in December, and then as many as 30 million each following month. It’s likely that children won’t receive the treatment until mid-2021.
Slaoui said that a 95 percent efficacy rate means around 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated for the immunity to work. “That is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May―or something like that―based on our plans,” he added.
That means Americans have to agree to be inoculated. A Gallup poll from Tuesday showed that 58 percent of Americans said they would get a coronavirus vaccine and 42 percent said they wouldn’t.
“I’m very, very concerned about the hesitancy as it exists,” Slaoui told ABC earlier on Sunday. “It’s very unfortunate because this has been exacerbated by the political context under which we have worked very hard with the companies and with the thousands of people that have been involved to make these vaccines available.”
Slaoui said he and his family would be “happy” to receive the treatment. “The vaccines have been developed as thoroughly and as scientifically as ever,” he said.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci doesn’t believe that life can be “normal” again around May.
“You can have a highly efficacious vaccine and only a relatively small 40, 50% of people get vaccinated, you’re not going to get the herd immunity you need,” Fauci told CBS. “What we do need is we need to get as many people as possible vaccinated.”