Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui said he expects a coronavirus vaccine to be widely available sometime next year – perhaps between April and June, according to a new report.
Slaoui, in an interview Wednesday with Business Insider, said he expects most of the US’s “high-risk population of around 70 or 80 million people will have been immunized” by then. Much depends on whether a majority of the six vaccines backed by Operation Warp Speed demonstrate efficacy, he said.
"I feel pretty confident we will be there," Slaoui said.
High-risk individuals include the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, kidney and heart disease.
Some context: Slaoui, an immunologist who formerly headed up GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine program, told CNN late last month that there might not be enough vaccine available for all Americans until the end of next year. He said there would be enough vaccine for all Americans "ideally" by the middle of 2021, but possibly not until the end of 2021.
The head of Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s accelerated vaccine program, also told Business Insider that he expects critical information on late-stage vaccine trials currently underway by Moderna and Pfizer to be available soon and that the trials are moving along “very well.” AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are expected to begin trials shortly, too.
"I would not be surprised if we have data before the end of the year," Slaoui said, but he was unable to give a more precise time on when the government might know if one of the vaccines works.