First Americans ‘could get Covid-19 vaccine in early December’

First Americans 'could get vaccine in early December'
Pfizer has applied for emergency authorisation for its vaccine in the US. Source: EPA/BIONTECH
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Daily US Times: The head of the US coronavirus vaccine programme said the first Americans to receive a Covid-19 vaccine could get it as soon as 11 December.

Dr Moncef Slaoui told CNN that the plan was to “ship vaccines to the immunisation sites within 24 hours” of a vaccine being approved.

The comments come amid a surge in coronavirus infections across the country.

The US has recorded more than 12m cases and 255,000 deaths, Johns Hopkins University data shows.

The numbers are the highest tolls registered anywhere in the world.

On Friday, American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech submitted an application for emergency authorisation in the US of their Covid-19 vaccine.

Data from an advanced trial of the vaccine showed the vaccine protects 94% of adults over 65.

Pfizer hopes to produce up to 50 million doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in next year. Each person needs two doses.

A vaccine advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to meet on 10 December to discuss whether to authorise the vaccine.

Dr Slaoui said the Covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out “maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or the 12th of December”.

The vaccine would be distributed based on each state’s population, he added.

States will be responsible for deciding who gets the Covid-19 vaccine first, but it is recommended that priority be given to those most at risk, like the elderly and front-line workers.

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