Now, When Does The Vaccine Roll Out?
And how much will roll out? Two questions that the Trump administration is still unclear about.
U.S. Purchase Of More Pfizer Coronavirus Vaccine Doses Could Be Tricky
With Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine poised for Food and Drug Administration authorization for emergency use, there's speculation about when the United States will buy another batch of doses — and whether the Trump administration already missed its chance. Although a Pfizer board member says the government declined to buy more doses beyond the initial 100 million agreed upon in July, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told PBS Newshour that this is inaccurate. The company never made a formal offer saying how many doses it would deliver and when — two things that are needed to sign an additional deal. (Lupkin, 12/10)
Covid-19 Vaccine-Distribution Timeline Will Keep Slipping, Experts Say
Shifting timelines are already apparent with Covid-19 vaccine distribution in the U.S. — even before the rollout starts in the coming days. The Trump administration declared in May that 300 million vaccine doses would be available by January 2021, with the first distributed in October of this year. By October, that had shifted to 100 million doses by the end of the year, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Currently, the plan is for 40 million doses to be distributed in December, though some in health care are skeptical of even that prediction. (Goldhill, 12/11)
Bay Area News Group:
Coronavirus: Light At End Of Tunnel? It May Be A Long Ride
“It’s going to get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert and professor emeritus at the University of California-Berkeley. “Unless something remarkable is going to happen and people meticulously follow the orders, we’re going to see things continue to get worse through probably the third week of January.” Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist and population health scientist at UC-Irvine, said that while the vaccines expected to be distributed in coming days are “the best thing to happen in a long time,” they are “coming a little too late to have a major influence over the dynamics of the current wave” of infections. (Woolfolk, 12/10)
The Vaccine Is Here. Now for the Hard Part
In a historic moment during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, an FDA advisory committee voted today in favor of authorizing the first vaccine against COVID-19. The formal implementation of this recommendation, which would allow the vaccine to be given to anyone 16 or older, is expected to follow imminently. This marks the beginning of a new and hopeful phase in a crisis that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans and caused widespread economic collapse. Having endured more deaths than any other country, the U.S. has manufactured hundreds of thousands of doses in anticipation of this moment. Vaccines should be available for some Americans next week, with doses going to health-care workers and older adults at the highest risk of serious complications from COVID-19. (Hamblin, 12/10)