Federal officials are now hard at work getting things ready for the fast rollout of the first round of coronavirus vaccinations as soon as the Food and Drug Administration authorizes one of them one of the several candidates available for use.
Team members working on President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed spoke with the media on Wednesday, revealing that as many as 100 million people could be vaccinated by the end of February. This means a large percentage of the most vulnerable folks in the population could be protected from the illness.
“The investments we have made in scaling up and starting to stockpile manufacturing of the vaccines allow us to feel confident that we … will have potentially 100 million doses, which is really more or less the size of the significant at-risk population: the elderly, the healthcare workers,” Dr. Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, said Thursday.
He was referring specifically to the leading vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna that must be administered in two shots about three weeks apart.
The government vaccine development initiative Operation Warp Speed plans to distribute 40 million vaccine doses, enough for 20 million people, by the end of December. Slaoui said that in January, there will be enough vaccines to immunize 30 million more people, followed by another 50 million people immunized by the end of February.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated on Wednesday that the first round of 170,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are due to arrive in the state on December 15. These doses will then be administered to healthcare workers and those who are residents living in long-term care facilities.
The governor then stated that a second round of 170,000 doses would arrive 21 days later.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that the people of this country not be forced against their will to take this vaccine. No one should be made to put something into their body that they don’t want.
As long as that remains the case, then vaccines are fine. It’s just the idea of being made to take something when you may not want it that is unsettling and is something we must fight against.