The United States could start distributing doses of a Covid-19 vaccine "soon after" Dec. 10, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday.
The US Food and Drug Administration's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on that date in December to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for an emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine.
"If all goes well, we could be distributing vaccine soon after Dec. 10," Azar said during an Operation Warp Speed briefing on Tuesday.
"We believe we can distribute vaccine to all 64 jurisdictions within 24 hours of FDA authorization. Then we hope administration could begin as soon as the product arrives," Azar said. "One of the private sector partners we've enlisted, CVS Health, has said that they expect to be vaccinating residents of nursing homes — one of the top priority groups — within 48 hours after FDA authorization."