Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific advisor for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN on Sunday that he is hopeful that by the end of January, there should be a “quite significant” decrease in morbidity and mortality associate with the elderly population.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its advisory committee, ACIP, have recommended that the vaccine be used in health care workers and those in long term care facilities, Slaoui said, adding that, unfortunately, about 40 to 50% of deaths are happening in the elderly population in care homes.
“We should be able to have immunized that full population, and the healthcare workers that take care of them by the end of the month of December or by the middle of the month of January,” he said.
The vaccine efficacy as it has been seen, he said, “actually starts reasonably quickly” after the first dose and is then maintained further with the second dose.
“Therefore I’m hopeful that by the end of the month of January, we should already see quite a significant decrease in the mortality and severe morbidity associated in the elderly population” said Slaoui.
He added that there are many other people who have comorbidities that live outside these facilities and that it will take more time to immunize them.
“By the month, the middle of the month of March, we should have really covered most of the highly susceptible population, about 100 million people,” Slaoui said.