“But we still have a lot of work to do until most people get vaccinated and the pandemic goes away,” said Giroir, the assistant secretary for Health and Human Services.
Reacting to groundbreaking news that the Food and Drug Administration is “rapidly working” to finalize Pfizer coronavirus vaccine approval, with Moderna expected to follow, Giroir predicts at least 20 million people could be vaccinated during December, 30 million in January, and another 50 million in February.
“We are in the process of truly what we call microplanning with the states, but the specific vaccine allocation is up to the governors,” he said.
In phase one of distribution, an estimated 21 million health care workers, including nurses and doctors, are expected to receive the vaccine, along with an estimated three million long-term care facility residents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Because of the cold-storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine, Gioir said it will most likely be given to health care institutions, while the Moderna vaccine will be able to be distributed on a wider scale.
“We are very confident that by the May-June time period that any American that wants a vaccine will have a vaccine available. So this is going to be extremely rapid,” Giroir explained.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said there could be Pfizer vaccinations beginning as early as Monday.
Fox News’ Kayla Rivas contributed to this report.