Home / News / World /  US expects to begin Covid vaccinations by 11 December: Official

The United States hopes to begin a sweeping program of Covid vaccinations in early December, the head of the government coronavirus vaccine effort said Sunday.

"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours of approval" by the US Food and Drug Administration, Moncef Slaoui told CNN.

"So I expect maybe on Day Two of the approval, on the 11th or the 12th of December."

FDA vaccine advisors reportedly will meet December 8 to 10 to discuss approving vaccines which Pfizer and Moderna say are at least 95 percent effective.

Two leading vaccine candidates -- one by Pfizer and German partner BioNTech and another by US firm Moderna -- have shown to be 95 percent effective and Pfizer already applied to emergency use approval from US health authorities.

Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc applied to US health regulators on Friday for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus.

The application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes just days after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE reported final trial results that showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no major safety concerns.

Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla confirmed the application had been made in a video posted on the company's website on Friday afternoon.

The FDA said on Friday it would hold a meeting of the advisory committee on December 10 at which members would discuss the vaccine.

Slaoui estimated that 20 million people across the US could be vaccinated in December, with 30 million per month after that.

US drug regulators on Saturday already gave emergency approval to a Covid-19 antibody therapy -- one used by US President Donald Trump -- and G20 nations were pushing for global "equitable" access to vaccines with worries poorer nations will be left behind.

The US, which recorded 177,552 new infections on Saturday, is now averaging almost 110,000 more daily cases than a month ago. Recently, US FDA approved an antibody cocktail from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. for coronavirus treatment.

With agency inputs

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