The head of the COVID-19 vaccination program, Dr. Moncef Slaoui said the first Americans to get a coronavirus vaccine could get it as early as December 11th.
"Our plan is to have vaccines delivered to vaccination sites within 24 hours of approval, so I expect it will be on the second day after approval on December 11th or 12th," he said to "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper.
Pfizer filed an application with the Food and Drug Administration for approval for emergency use. A committee is to meet there on December 10th.
Slaoui noted December 11th or 12th as the first dates for vaccines would be available.
Slaoui, who heads the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, also said he believes life in the US could return to normal in May.
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Dr. Warce Speed boss Dr. Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper, Moncef Slaoui (right) said he believed the first Americans could be vaccinated on December 11 or 12 – and life could return to normal by May
Pfizer has filed with the Food and Drug Administration for approval for the emergency use of its coronavirus vaccine. The agency will meet on December 10th
Slaoui, the chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, is photographed in the Rose Garden of the White House on November 13. He said on Sunday that while speaking with Biden's new administration would be helpful, he pledged the efforts isolated from politics
Both Pfizer (left) and Moderna (right) have promising COVID-19 candidates. Pfizer has filed for emergency clearance with the Food and Drug Administration, which will meet on Dec. 10. Slaoui estimated the first vaccines could be issued in the US on December 11th or 12th
Tapper had asked how many Americans would have to be vaccinated for it.
Slaoui said with the effectiveness that the vaccine candidates demonstrated, about 70 percent of the population to be immunized would provide true herd immunity.
The plan is to have 20 million Americans vaccinated in December and 30 million a month in the months that follow.
"That will likely happen in May or so based on our plans," he continued.
“I really hope and look forward to seeing the negative perception of the vaccine decrease and people's acceptance increase. That will be crucial to help us, ”added Slaoui. "Most people need to be vaccinated before we can return to normal lives."
Both Pfizer and Moderna have promising vaccine candidates, and Moderna is expected to seek FDA approval in the coming weeks.
Slaoui said he agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's foremost infectious disease expert, who said he would like to speak to members of President-Elect Joe Biden's transition team to ensure a smooth handover.
President Donald Trump has so far refused to allow the election after Biden, thus preventing the transition from starting.
& # 39; Of course. We all strive for smoothness, ”Slaoui said to Tapper.
However, Slaoui assured the CNN host that the Operation Warp Speed team had tried to stay out of politics. He made statements similar to those of NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday from & # 39; Meet the Press & # 39 ;.
“To be honest, the operation is isolated – from the administration, from the political environment and from the political context. We worked very hard to make sure that was the case, ”he said to Todd.
"And that's why all decisions are made, the train goes, whether one or the other administration honestly makes no difference," continued Slaoui. "I hope there is no interference in any way."
Slaoui also said he would be "very happy" to work with the new government. He did the work on a voluntary basis.
Trump has mostly spent the two weeks since the election for Biden out of sight.
Trump is photographed at his Sterling, Virginia golf club on Saturday. He resisted reports that he'd called off part of the G20 meeting to play golf
The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (above) speaks at the virtual G20 conference on Saturday. Trump (bottom left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (bottom right) listen
Trump was photographed leaving the White House on Sunday. Trump left the G20 early and made his way to his golf resort in Virginia
White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow (center left) can be seen in the US G20 headquarters as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (center) delivered a closing speech on Sunday
He has appeared at official events three times, but otherwise spent part of each weekend day on his Virginia golf course.
And he's spent a lot of time on Twitter, continuing to spread conspiracy theories about how he "won" the race.
For the second year in a row, Trump left the virtual G20 early to play golf at his Virginia resort.
Trump had previously resisted news that he had called off part of the G20 on Saturday to play golf.
"Just arrived at Virtual G20," tweeted Trump on Sunday morning. & # 39; Was here yesterday (early) too, but some of the fake news media didn't exactly report it – as usual. My speech is available (they said I didn't give a speech). "
Several outlets, including the New York Times and The Guardian, reported that Trump attended briefly on Saturday before taking the motorcade to his Sterling, Virginia, estate.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow was seen in Trump's seat on Sunday as the conference ended.
On Saturday he skipped a side event entitled "Pandemic preparedness and response", in which Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron participated.
The Guardian, which was able to get audio of Trump's remarks, reported that the president took his rejection of the presidential election results to the global stage when addressing world leaders.
"It was a great honor to work with you and I look forward to working with you for a long time," said Trump.
He also bragged about Operation Warp Speed. Trump recognized Pfizer's vaccine even though the company didn't take government money.
There are more than 12 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States
Cases picked up again in October and resumed in November, prompting some major cities to introduce new lockdown restrictions
Slaoui's predictions come just a day after U.S. health officials agreed on Saturday to allow the emergency use of an experimental drug given to Trump when he fell ill last month.
The FDA approved the use of the drug Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc to help prevent hospitalization and disease worsening in patients with mild to moderate symptoms.
The drug is given as a one-time treatment through an IV. The FDA approved its use in adults and children 12 years and older who weigh at least 88 pounds and are at high risk of serious illness from COVID-19 because of their age or certain other medical conditions.
The emergency approval allows the drug to be used while studies continue to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.
Early results suggest the drug may reduce COVID-19-related hospital stays or emergency rooms in patients at high risk for the disease's progression, according to the FDA.
Regeneron said the starting doses will be made available to around 300,000 patients as part of a federal government allocation program.
These patients will not be billed for the medication, but they may have to pay part of the cost of giving the IV.
Initial supply is likely to be far exceeded by demand as the US has surged over 12 million reported cases. According to health experts, the country will experience a dark winter due to the uncontrolled spread of the virus.
Antibodies are proteins that the body makes to fight and get rid of viruses. However, it can take weeks for the best to form after infection.
More than 9 million people will lose their unemployment benefits by the end of the year if two unemployment assistance programs expire unless Congress extends them. Volunteers are serving over 3,000 Thanksgiving meals to those in need at Minnie's Food Pantry on Saturday in Plano, Texas
Families wait in line for over a mile to receive a Thanksgiving meal from Minnie & # 39; s Food Pantry on Saturday in Plano, Texas
In Plano, Texax, volunteers prepare to distribute Thanksgiving food to thousands of families in need
The drugs are concentrated versions of drugs that have been shown to work best in laboratory and animal studies, and in theory, help the body fight the virus immediately.
The Regeneron drug is a combination of two antibodies to make it more likely that it will prove effective.
There's no way to know if the Regeneron drug helped Trump recover. He received a variety of treatments and most COVID-19 patients recover on their own.
FDA regulators approved the drug Regeneron with their emergency forces to quickly accelerate the availability of experimental drugs and other medical products during public health crises.
During normal times, the FDA requires "substantial evidence" to show that a drug is safe and effective, usually through one or more large, tightly controlled patient studies.
However, in public health emergencies, the agency can lower these standards and only requires that the potential benefits of experimental treatment outweigh the risks.
The emergency permit acts as a temporary permit for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to gain full approval, Regeneron must submit additional research to fully define the drug's safety and benefits for patients.
The White House described the decision as a victory for Trump's efforts to "offer innovative treatments with promising results to protect the health and safety of the most vulnerable Americans," said spokesman Michael Bars.
In addition to the more than 12 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, there are at least 255,909 deaths.
New virus cases doubled in just three weeks after the previous doubling lasted six weeks.
As a result, many states are adopting or considering new restrictions on businesses.
Texas became the first state to hit 1 million cases of the virus earlier this month. Volunteers mark cars as thousands of people line up for the annual Thomas J. Henry Turkey giveaway at the Robstown, Texas Fairgrounds Saturday
Volunteers put turkeys in the trunks of cars during the annual Thomas J. Henry Turkey Give Away at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, Texas
Thousands of people compete in the Thomas J. Henry annual Turkey Sweepstakes at Fairgrounds Field in Robstown, Texas on Saturday
Maryland has limited shops and restaurants to 50 percent capacity. Retailers in most of California are now capped to just 25 percent, and gyms, restaurants, and movie theaters are closed to indoor customers.
California has also introduced a curfew. California residents are asked to return home by 10 p.m. and stay there until 5 a.m. The curfew started on Saturday and ends on December 21st.
Illinois and Washington have limited stores to 25 percent capacity.
New lockout restrictions have also restricted public and private in-person gatherings.
Health officials have warned Americans to stay home for the holidays and not hold large Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.
It is feared that such gatherings will only continue the spread of COVID-19 in America.
Jim O & # 39; Sullivan, TD Securities economist, has forecast that the U.S. economy will not grow at all for the last three months of the year – compared to his earlier forecast of 3 percent annual growth this quarter – and will be in shrink by 2 percent in the first three months of 2021.
Like most economists, he expects a rebound from the second quarter onwards once a vaccine is widely used.
O’Sullivan's forecasts assume that Congress will agree on new economic stimuli worth around $ 1 trillion by early 2021.
So far, however, there is no sign of any progress towards an agreement. More than 9 million people will lose their unemployment benefits by the end of the year if two unemployment assistance programs expire unless Congress extends them.
Consumer spending is likely to fall further.
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