(Gray News) – The United States could have enough coronavirus vaccine produced as early as March for every American who wants to be inoculated, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday.
“We believe we may have up to 100 million doses by the end of the year, enough to cover especially vulnerable populations,” Azar said.
“We project having enough for every American who wants a vaccine by March to April 2021.”
HHS heads the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed – a program tasked with the goal of producing 300 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
The United States is already manufacturing doses of all six potential vaccine candidates, pending Food and Drug Administration approval. Four of them are already in Phase 3 testing.
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlined a plan to make coronavirus vaccines available for free across the country.
“CDC is drawing on its years of planning and cooperation with state and local public health partners to ensure a safe, effective, and life-saving COVID-19 vaccine is ready to be distributed following FDA approval,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield.
“Through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, CDC will play a vital role in deciding, based on input from experts and stakeholders, how initial, limited vaccine doses will be allocated and distributed while reliably producing more than 100 million doses by January 2021.”
President Donald Trump has regularly suggested that a vaccine could be ready ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
Some scientists and infectious disease experts are concerned the vaccines could be distributed before they’re adequately tested.
To address those concerns, the FDA has published safety standards for manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical companies released a statement last month saying they would go with science, not politics in their clinical trials of the vaccines.