Most Americans to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by July
A top US health official told a US Senate committee on Wednesday that he expects COVID-19 vaccinations to take place over many months and that most Americans could be vaccinated by July of 2021 at the latest.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Robert Redfield said he expects there to be about 700 million doses of vaccines available by late March or April, enough for 350 million people.
“I think that’s going to take us April, May, June, you know, possibly July, to get the entire American public completely vaccinated,” Redfield told the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Redfield, U.S. Food and Drug Administration head Stephen Hahn, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci and Health and Human Services official Brett Giroir were testifying on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused more than 200,000 deaths in the United States.
There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but there are several in late-stage trials here, including from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Companies have begun manufacturing the vaccine in anticipation of a fast regulatory authorization once they are shown to work.
Fauci said he expects 50 million doses to be available in November and 100 million by the end of December. He expects a total of 700 million doses by April.
Health officials and President Donald Trump have presented different views about when the vaccines will be ready for most Americans. The process for deciding how to distribute vaccines falls largely to the CDC.
Redfield said Operation Warp Speed, the government group with officials from the departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, will ultimately decide how to allocate the vaccines.