Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar predicted Tuesday that there would be enough Covid-19 vaccine for general public vaccination campaigns by spring 2021.
In an appearance on the TODAY show, Azar outlined what he said would be the distribution schedule for Pfizer’s and other companies’ experimental vaccines, none of which are approved, but Pfizer said Monday its vaccine is over 90 percent effective at preventing coronavirus infection.
Azar said the pharmaceutical giant is ramping up to deliver 20 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine monthly by the end of November.
Azar forecasted that there would be enough of the vaccine to inoculate at-risk nursing home residents, health care workers and first responders by the end of January and that there should be “enough for all Americans by the end of March to early April to have general vaccination programs.”
Azar also touted the FDA emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab, a treatment for people at risk of developing severe effects from Covid-19.
Around the world and in the United States, coronavirus cases are skyrocketing, with over 50 million cases so far.
The United States leads with 10 million cases and nearly a quarter-million deaths since the pandemic broke out earlier this year.
In a statement Monday, Pfizer said it expects to deliver up to 50 million doses of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion in 2021.
Pfizer did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment on Azar’s forecast for vaccine distribution in the United States.