HHS Secretary Alex Azar calls recent vaccine data ‘incredibly strong,’ estimates 40 million vaccine doses will be produced by end of year.
“Think about this: 10 months into this pandemic hitting our shores, thanks to what President Trump has done, we believe we’re going to have people getting vaccinated, millions of people, before Christmas this year. It’s just unheard of in the history of public health, this accomplishment,” Azar told “Fox & Friends.”
Azar said that the vaccine will be “shipped” within 24 hours of FDA approval and then it would be up to “nursing homes, hospitals, and pharmacies to get that dispensed.”
“It really could be within days of FDA approval we’ll start seeing vaccines in people’s arms which is frankly incredible,” Azar said.
Moderna became the latest company to announce that it will apply for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine candidate.
In a statement regarding plans to file for an emergency authroization, the company said it expects to have up to 20 million doses available by the end of 2020, and up to 1 billion doses available globally in 2021. The shot, which is a two-dose jab, would be ready to ship within weeks of approval, according to the company.
Pfizer has already filed for the emergency authorization and the FDA plans to decide in early December. AstraZeneca has also indicated that it is preparing to file an emergency use authorization.
There are more than 13.3 million confirmed cases of the virus in the United States since the pandemic started, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Moderna announced that it will apply for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus vaccine. That will make it the second company to do so. Pfizer had already filed for an emergency authorization. The FDA plans to decide by early December.
“Pfizer submitted their application a week ago and the FDA said they’ll hold a public advisory committee hearing December 10th. Then if everything is on track, FDA could approve within days of that hearing and then Moderna. They filed today and there will be an advisory committee for them likely December 17th is what the company announced,” Azar said. “And again, it could be within days of that public advisory committee that FDA grants approval if the data all confirms the way it’s looking.”
The other candidate, which belongs to Moderna is also promising, he said.
“And the Moderna data today incredible — 30,000 people in the clinical trial and they just released their full results: 94 percent effective,” Azar said. “It’s unbelievable.”