A coronavirus vaccine will likely become available in the United States by the end of the second week of December, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield said Tuesday.
Redfield told Fox News’ The Daily Briefing that the vaccine would be made available “in a hierarchical way” that will prioritize “nursing home residents and then some combination of health care providers and individuals at high risk for a poor outcome.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a December 10 meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee to review Pfizer’s request for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its vaccine candidate, which the drugmaker and German partner BioNTech announced last week is 95 percent effective.
“I do think we’ll have about 40 million doses of vaccine before the end of the … year,” Redfield said. “That’s enough to vaccinate 20 million people. But then it will continue through January and February and hopefully by March we’ll start to see vaccine available for the general public.”
Pfizer is one of three promising vaccine candidates; Moderna and AstraZeneca have said their vaccine candidates are 94.5 percent effective and up to 90 percent effective, respectively. Moderna said last week it intends to submit an EUA request to the FDA “in the coming weeks.”
Redfield, while acknowledging that “it’s exceptional that we have these vaccines and very exciting,” urged Americans to continue taking precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“I want people to be vigilant because we’re turning the corner now,” he said. “You don’t want to be the last group to end up getting COVID.”