Operation Warp Speed doctor says vaccine delivery could begin before Christmas

President Donald Trump promised a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year, and it looks like he kept his word.

The leader of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, said Sunday that the first Americans could get receive vaccines before Christmas.

Ship within 24 hours of approval

According to the Washington Examiner, Slaoui told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the Trump administration plans to ship out Pfizer’s vaccine within 24 hours of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving it for emergency use.

That could happen by Dec. 11, after the FDA has a meeting on Dec. 10.

“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe on day two after the approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,” Slaoui told Tapper. “Hopefully, the first people to be immunized across the United States, across all states in all of the areas where the state departments will have told us where to deliver the vaccines.”

With polls showing that large percentages of Americans remain skeptical of taking a vaccine, Slaoui said that about 70% of the population would have to get vaccinated to make an impact.

“I really hope and look forward to seeing that the level of negative perception of the vaccine decreases and people’s acceptance increase,” Slaoui said, as the Examiner reported. “That is going to be critical to help us. Most people need to be immunized before we can go back to a normal life.”

Trump takes victory lap

The first recipients of the Pfizer vaccine will be health care workers and people at high risk of serious illness and death, like seniors and those with underlying conditions.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have announced that they have developed effective vaccines. Moderna will apply for emergency use authorization for its vaccine in December, according to Reuters.

Trump has accused the companies of waiting to announce their vaccines until after the election. At a Friday White House briefing on reforms to lower drug prices, he said that Pfizer was playing “corrupt games” as he took a victory lap for meeting his goal in record time.

“You wouldn’t have a vaccine, if it weren’t for me, for another four years because FDA would’ve never been able to do what they did — what I forced them to do,” he said, according to the New York Post.

Well done, President Trump.

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