First Doses of Pfizer Vaccine Could Go Out This Month to Healthcare Workers; Distribution to General Public to Begin in Spring
Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for Operation Warp Speed, says state officials were informed on Nov. 20 about the allocation of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine, based on each state’s overall population. The federal government intends to send 6.4 million doses of the vaccine within 24 hours of regulatory clearance.
Officials expect that the vaccines will be administered quickly to front-line health care workers. Perna said additional doses will be regularly delivered as manufacturing capacity ramps up. U.S. government officials are on track to have 40 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of the year, enough to vaccinate 20 million people (two shots are needed). It is likely to be April before the general public begins to get vaccinated. -more-
A COVID-19 forecasting model from Washington University in St. Louis estimates that the nation could nearly double its current number of infections by Jan. 20 — from about 12.4 million to 20 million. Meanwhile, hospitalizations are at unprecedented highs, with more than 85,800 hospitalized patients nationwide, the COVID Tracking Project shows. More than 257,600 people have died of COVID-19 nationwide since the pandemic’s start, and another 140,000 could die over the next two months, according to projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Experts warn that things will get worse in the coming weeks before they start to get better with the help of potential vaccines.