US healthcare workers and others recommended for the nation’s first Covid-19 inoculations could start getting shots within a day or two of regulatory consent next month, a top official of the government’s vaccine development effort said on Sunday.
Some 70 per cent of the US population of 330 million would need to be inoculated to achieve “herd” immunity from the virus, a goal the country could achieve by May, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for “Operation Warp Speed”.
Dr Slaoui said the US Food and Drug Administration would likely grant approval in mid-December for distribution of the vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech.
The FDA’s outside advisers are slated to meet on Dec. 10 to review Pfizer’s emergency-use application for its vaccine.
A second pharmaceutical company, Moderna Inc, is expected to seek separate approval later in December for its vaccine.