The head of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed says a COVID-19 vaccine could be made widely available by June 2021, ABC News reports.
“It’s a plan, it’s not a certainty,” Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told ABC News’s Bob Woodruff.
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“But the plan should make it such that by June everybody could have been immunized in the United States. We will have enough vaccine doses. I really hope most people will take the vaccines,” Moncef told the outlet.
Public health officials and experts have projected that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine could likely be made available to high-risk groups — such as health care workers and the elderly — before the year is out, but a vaccine isn’t likely to be broadly available to all Americans until several months into 2021.
Earlier this month, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar projected the U.S. could have up to 100 million doses of a vaccine before the year is out and doses for every American sometime between March and April of 2021.
The U.S. is currently manufacturing doses for all six vaccine candidates supported by Operation Warp Speed, including those developed by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which are all currently in late-stage clinical trials. The U.S. is also securing needles, syringes, bottles and other immunization supplies.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson recently paused their trials in the U.S. after participants in both trials became ill.
Moncef told ABC the pharmaceutical companies are “imminently going to have the hold lifted.”
Slaoui’s prediction comes as the U.S. is currently experiencing a resurgence of cases and is the worst-affected country in the world, with more than 8.2 million confirmed cases and more than 221,000 deaths.
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