THE director of Operation Warp Speed, the public-private initiative to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine, has claimed that everyone in the U.S. will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine by June 2021.
Lt. General Paul A. Ostrowski made the claims in an interview with CNBC on Monday.
Lt. General Paul A. Ostrowski, the director of Operation Warp Speed, said everyone in the U.S. will be able to get a vaccine by June 2021Credit: MSNBC
Once they gain FDA approval, the first vaccine doses will be available to the highest risk members of societyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Once they gain FDA approval, the first vaccine doses will be available to the highest risk members of society, according to reports.
Ostrowski said that “100 percent of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine” by June.
He added: “We’ll have over 300 million doses available to the American public before then.”
In the last month, two of America’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Moderna and Pfizer, reported their vaccine trials had produced a higher-than-expected efficacy rate of more than 90 percent.
Moderna filed for FDA approval on Monday, causing President Trump to encourage the FDA to “act quickly.”
FDA APPROVAL NEEDED
Trump, who has looked to claim credit for the pharmaceutical companies’ progress so far, tweeted: “Moderna now applying for Emergency Vaccine Approval.. @US_FDA MUST ACT QUICKLY!!! Operation Warp Speed has been a great modern day miracle.”
Despite the recent announcements, however, a recent Pew Research poll found that only 51 percent of Americans say the would take a vaccine.
Of those interviewed in the poll, a greater number said they would take the vaccine if it was supported by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, than President Trump or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Moderna announced on Monday that it has sought FDA approval for its coronavirus vaccineCredit: Reuters
Pfizer recently announced that its vaccine had an efficacy rate of more than 90 percentCredit: Reuters
Ostrowksi’s announcement comes at a time when states have begun modifying their approaches to prepare for a potential surge in cases over the coming weeks.
On Monday, a new surge in hospitalizations in California saw the state declare that intensive care units could be overwhelmed by Christmas Eve.
According to the Associated Press, the state saw a new daily high for coronavirus cases, reaching 14,034 and an overall total of 1,212,968.
An additional 20 deaths were also reported, bringing the total in the state 19,141.
As of Monday, 8,578 people are in California hospitals with COVID-19, with 75 percent of ICU beds are occupied.
Without intervention, Governor Gavin Newsom said, that number could reach 112 percent by December 24.
The state will consider further restrictions over the next two days, Newsom added – similar to the shutdown order implemented earlier this year with “modifications.”
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the state is entering a “new phase in the war against COVID.”
Cuomo warned New York’s hospitals must prepare for an expected surge in coronavirus infections by stockpiling masks and gowns.
He also urged hospitals to increase their capacities and to identify retired nurses and doctors to potentially help.
3,500 people now hospitalized statewide for COVID-19 – up from 900 people hospitalized in late June – and cases will only rise as New York residents celebrate the holiday season, Cuomo added.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned New York’s hospitals must prepare for an expected surge in coronavirus infectionsCredit: AP:Associated Press
California Governor Gavin Newsom also warned the need for ICU beds could start to overflow come Christmas eveCredit: AP:Associated Press