The head of Operation Warp Speed said he’s “optimistic” there will be vaccines for all Americans by the end of next year, but hopefully even sooner.
“I am optimistic that we will have vaccines for everybody within the year 2021, ideally within the first half of the year 2021. That's our objective,” said Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the federal government’s multi-billion-dollar program to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
In his first television interview since being appointed, Slaoui spoke with CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen on Thursday while touring a vaccine clinical trial site in Savannah, Georgia.
Phase 3 clinical trials – the final step before government approval – are underway in the United States for two vaccines, one made by Moderna and another by Pfizer. Operation Warp Speed is also funding six other vaccine efforts, Slaoui said.
Slaoui said he expects to “probably have a few tens of millions of doses [of vaccine] in December and January” and those would go to high-risk individuals.
“We will not have doses for the full US population on day one,” he said.
High-risk individuals include the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.