A top general heavily involved in the nation’s COVID-19 fight said in a news conference with President Donald Trump on November 13 that 20 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine may be available to Americans by December.
Both the general, Gustave Perna, and the president gave timelines for when vaccines could reach the American people. Trump focused on mass distribution of the vaccine, and he said that would be available “as soon as April.”
But Perna was even more optimistic in his comments, which you can watch below. He said that six vaccines are now showing great promise in development, and two could soon seek emergency authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration. if this approval is received, he anticipates doses going out to the public before the end of the year.
The administration is calling this effort “Operation Warp Speed.”
Here is the news conference. Trump spoke first, followed by Perna:
Here’s what you need to know:
The General Says Millions More Doses Would Then Be Rolled Out Each Month
General Gustave Perna said in the news conference that millions of doses will hopefully out by December.
Specifically, he said that the administration plans “to have enough vaccine doses for 20 million individuals in the month of December and another 25-30 million per month on an ongoing basis from there on.”
Perna said the mission of Operation Warp Speed is to “enable and accelerate the development of vaccines” and therapeutics to combat coronavirus. When the program was announced, he said, the objective was to accomplish this task by the end of the year, and he now says the administration is “close” to meeting that objective.
“We can say that significant process has been made…we are close to the objective,” said Perna.
He said there are six vaccines under development right now that are being watched by the administration.
“These vaccines are now in the clinical development stages. Four are in phase three trials. Two have effectively completed enrollment in the past three trial.” He believes another positive announcement will come out next week.
Trump Says Americans Will Get a Vaccine by April
President Trump gave a different timeframe than Serna, but he was talking about mass distribution. he said that he hoped the Pfizer vaccine would be “approved very, very quickly.” He said the average timeline can take 8-12 years for a vaccine, but this one would be done in “less than one year. No one can believe it. Three other vaccines are in final stages of trial and will also be mass produced.”
He said the vaccine will be distributed first to at-risk Americans, the elderly, and front-line workers “in a matter of weeks.”
“By vaccinating elderly and high risk, we effectively end this phase of this pandemic and allow seniors to reclaim the golden years of their lives,” said Trump.
He said that “millions of doses will soon be going out” and added “as soon as April, a vaccine will be available.”
The exception is New York, he said, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo would need to request the vaccine. According to The New York Post, Cuomo recently criticized the Pfizer vaccine development as “bad news” because it happened during Trump’s administration.
But Trump called it a “very safe and great vaccine.”
The president reiterated his opposition to a national lockdown and said other vaccines also hold promise when fighting COVID-19.
“We have others coming we think will be of equal level (to the Pfizer vaccine),” Trump said of vaccines.
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