The White House is projecting that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be distributed to 20 million people by the end of December.
Two vaccines that are finishing up their phase three trials are expected to file with the FDA for emergency use authorization within the next few weeks, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, who is managing Operation Warp Speed’s coronavirus vaccine development efforts, said during a press conference Friday at the White House.
“Hopefully if approved, they could be used for immunization in the U.S. population in the month of December,” he said.
“We plan to have enough vaccine doses available for use in the U.S. population to immunize about 20 million individuals in the month of December and another 25 to 30 million per month on an ongoing basis from thereon,” Slaoui continued.
Depending on if more vaccines are approved in February or March, Slaoui said an even larger number of Americans could be immunized at that point.
The news comes as the daily rate of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. has soared to above 100,000 Americans every day over the last 10 days.
Meanwhile, drug maker Pfizer announced Monday that its coronavirus vaccine appears to be more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease caused by the virus, according to an early analysis of the vaccine trial.
More than 240,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, and more than 10.3 million people have tested positive across the country. More than 1.2 million have died worldwide.