A top official with Operation Warp Speed — the Trump administration initiative to speed the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine — said Monday that every American who wants a vaccine will be able to get one by June of next year.
Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), the director of supply, production, and distribution for Operation Warp Speed, appeared on MSNBC and was asked about his expectations for Americans come June.
“One hundred percent of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine by that point in time. We will have over 300 million doses available to the American public, well before then,” Ostrowski said.
“100% of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine” by June.
— Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski (Ret.), Operation Warp Speed Supply, Production & Distribution Director pic.twitter.com/3UFGYJNBWI
— The Recount (@therecount) November 30, 2020
The confident prediction came as biotech company Moderna on Monday announced the final results of its 30,000-person efficacy trial for its vaccine. The company’s trials found its vaccine to be 94% effective against COVID-19 with a 100% effectiveness against severe disease. No one who participated in the trial developed a severe case of coronavirus. Moderna declared its intention to file for emergency approval from the FDA to begin production and distribution of its vaccine as soon as possible. The agency will meet on Dec. 17 to discuss approval for the vaccine.
Earlier in November, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted their vaccine to the FDA for emergency approval.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, told CNN last week that tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines will begin shipping to immunization sites by the end of this year. He predicted that Americans would reach herd immunity by May 2021 and that life would return to normal once people are immunized.
As multiple vaccines near release, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci called on the American people to “be part of the solution” Monday by receiving a vaccine in a conversation with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Monday.
“Say, ‘I’m not going to be one of the people that’s going to be a steppingstone for the virus to go to somebody else. I’m going to be a dead end to the virus,'” Fauci said.
As of Nov. 30, there were more than 13 million confirmed or probable coronavirus cases in the United States, according to the COVID Tracking Project. About 96,000 Americans are currently hospitalized and more than 259,000 have died from COVID or complications related to the virus.
CNN reports that as Pfizer’s vaccine awaits authorization, states have until Friday to request the number of doses for the vaccine.