The first group of Americans, who will receive the covid – 19 vaccine, could get the vaccine on December 11, according to the head of the US coronavirus vaccine program.
The plan aims to “ship vaccines to vaccine delivery sites within 24 hours” of approval, Dr. Moncef Salawi told CNN.
The announcement comes amid a surge in coronavirus cases across the country.
The United States recorded more than 12 million infections and 255,000 deaths, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
These are the highest figures recorded anywhere in the world.
U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner bionetek filed an application on Friday for permission to use a vaccine from their production in emergency situations in the United States.
Data from an advanced trial, showed that the vaccine is 94% effective with those over 65.
Pfizer hopes to produce up to 50 million doses in 2020, and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021. Each person needs two doses.
The FDA advisory committee is scheduled to meet on December 10 to discuss whether the vaccine should be approved.
The vaccine could be rolled out “probably on the second day after approval on December 11 or 12,”Dr. slawy said.
He said the vaccine would be distributed based on the population of each state. Each state will be responsible for determining who gets the vaccine first, but it is recommended that priority be given to those most at risk, such as frontline workers in the fight against the coronavirus epidemic and the elderly.
Salawi said that by May, the country could achieve “herd immunity,” with 70% of the population being vaccinated.
US officials had earlier granted emergency permission for an experimental antibody treatment, developed by Regeneron, given to US President Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with covid – 19.
Also on Sunday, G20 leaders said they would “spare no effort” to ensure the fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines worldwide.
What are the novelties of the virus in the United States?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that coronavirus cases are “rising rapidly” across the country.
The daily death toll reached its highest level since May.
Several states have imposed gag wear and new restrictions to try to combat the outbreak. In Texas, the National Guard has been deployed to El Paso to assist with mortuary operations, amid rising mortality rates from the coronavirus.
California has begun a night curfew, trying to limit the spread of the virus. It reported total million cases last week, making it the second state to do so after TX.
Elsewhere, including New York City, a night curfew is also imposed. Bars, restaurants and gyms are allowed to open until 22:00, but schools are closed.
The CDC urged Americans to avoid traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, on November 26, to prevent increased transmission rates.
Thanksgiving usually heralds the busiest travel week in the United States. Last year, over an estimated 26 million people across the country’s airports in the week that includes the holiday.
Both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have said they oppose imposing a national shutdown, and support allowing states to set their own rules.
Health experts say the only solution to the epidemic is a global one.
A major research center in the United States, namely at Duke University in North Carolina, is trying to monitor all agreements that are concluded.
The University estimates that 6.4 billion doses of potential vaccines have already been agreed, and another 3.2 billion doses are either under negotiation or reserved .
Pre-procurement is a well-known practice in the drug industry, and can help stimulate product development and funding trials, according to Claire Wenham, associate professor of global health policy at the London School of economics.
But it also means that anyone who can pay more in the first phase of production will be at the top of the queue, says Wenham.
Duke University research found that the “vast majority” of vaccine doses purchased so far go to rich countries.
Some middle-income countries with manufacturing capacity have also been able to negotiate large purchase agreements as part of manufacturing deals.
While other countries with infrastructure to host clinical trials, such as Brazil and Mexico, have been able to use this as leverage to ensure access to future vaccines.
For example, the Indian Serum Institute, has committed to keeping half of the doses it produces for internal distribution.
Meanwhile, Indonesia is involved with Chinese vaccine developers, and Brazil is involved in trials run by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Because we do not yet know which vaccines will work, some countries are taking precautions in their bets by buying multiple options, says Alice Caddy of BBC News.
India, the European Union, the United States, Canada and Britain are among the countries that have booked the highest number of doses, according to the latest data.
“It is understandable that leaders want to protect their people first – they are accountable to their citizens – but the response to this global pandemic must be collective,”The Who told the BBC.
The availability of the vaccine in poor countries depends on how many vaccines are developed, how fast they are produced, and where they are produced, says Chandrakant laharia, co-author of the soon-to-be-released book “until we win: India’s battle against the covid-19 pandemic.”
“There are vaccines developed in India, and with our production capacity I expect that the price can drop very quickly and therefore there will be an abundance of vaccines in low and middle income countries,”he adds.
Rachel Silverman, policy analyst at the Center for Global Development Research, said promising vaccines are “largely covered by pre-purchase agreements, mostly from rich countries. However, if there are many successful vaccines there will be enough total supplies so that rich countries do not have to use all their options.”
But, she added, “There is very little chance that vaccines will reach low-and middle-income countries by the end of next year, at least in large quantities for the purpose of universal vaccination.”