Tuesday, December 7

HHS Secretary Azar Says U.S. Could Have Enough Coronavirus Vaccine Doses for Every American by March

KEY POINTS

  • The Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine program Operation Warp Speed anticipates to have up to 100 million dosages by the end of the year, Health and Person Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
  • Azar stated the U.S. is presently manufacturing doses for all six possible vaccines backed by the U.S. federal government throughout more than 23 production centers.
  • U.S. health officials have been speeding up the advancement of vaccine candidates even though doing so could be for naught if the vaccine ends up not working or safe.

Health and Person Solutions Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday the U.S. might have sufficient Covid-19 vaccine dosages for every American as early as March, a more optimistic estimate than President Donald Trump has publicly said.

The Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine program Operation Terminal velocity anticipates to have up to 100 million dosages by the end of the year, Azar stated throughout a keynote speech at the Goldman Sachs Health care virtual event on the coronavirus. That’s “enough to cover specifically susceptible populations,” he stated.

“We forecast having enough for every American who desires a vaccine by March to April 2021,” he added.

Due to the fact that of the pandemic, U.S. health authorities have been speeding up the development of vaccine candidates by investing in numerous stages of research study although doing so could be for naught if the vaccine ends up not working or safe.

Azar said the U.S. is currently producing dosages for all six possible vaccines backed by the U.S. government throughout more than 23 production facilities. That includes vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & & Johnson, which are all in late-stage screening. The U.S. is likewise getting the needles, syringes, bottles, and other supplies needed for immunizations, he said.

He touted the U.S. government’s partnership with medical supply business McKesson, which was tapped as the primary supplier for Covid-19 vaccines.

“We are tremendously pleased with our success so far,” he stated.

Trump has consistently insisted a vaccine might be licensed for emergency use as early as October with sufficient vaccine dosages for each American by April.

Azar stated Thursday that U.S. health authorities think licensing a vaccine for emergency situation use is suitable in “only particular circumstances,” where there are “enough quantities of vaccine currently manufactured.”

The Centers for Illness Control and Prevention laid out a sweeping plan last month to make vaccines for Covid-19 offered totally free to all Americans. In the plan, the CDC said it prepares for a coronavirus vaccine will at first be granted an emergency situation usage authorization before full formal approval.

Much of the guidance, however not all, explained in the strategy will overlap with many regular activities for immunizations and pandemic influenza preparation, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield stated at the time.

When larger amounts of vaccine become readily available, the CDC stated, there will be two synchronized objectives: to provide widespread access to vaccination and to make sure high uptake in target populations, particularly those who are at high risk of death or issues from Covid-19.

Azar’s comments come as contagious disease specialists and scientists fear a Covid-19 vaccine will be distributed prior to it’s been sufficiently tested.

Previously this week, the Fda laid out updated security requirements for Covid-19 vaccine makers. The requirements, published in a file on the FDA’s website, would almost certainly prevent the intro of a vaccine before the governmental election on Nov. 3.

The standards have been shared with pharmaceutical businesses, which have been trying to tamp down fears that the vaccine advancement is moving too fast to ensure it’s safe. They released a joint statement in September that promised to “stand with science,” instead of politics, stating the medical trials won’t sacrifice safety or the effectiveness of a vaccine.