Trump administration officials announced yesterday that 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine should be available by January 2021 under Operation Warp Speed although they stressed there’s no guarantee that a vaccine will be available by then.
Officials said that 14 vaccine candidates have already been identified from a list of 100 vaccines, which is being scaled down to seven. From those seven, three or five will proceed to large-scale clinical trials.
The vaccines will go directly to the U.S. government, which will be in charge of distribution, they said, adding that it will prioritize the elderly, essential workers and those with pre-existing conditions.
In the briefing, one official said the most important part of the initiative will be that it provides vaccines for free to “vulnerable Americans” who need a vaccine but cannot afford one.
In addition, an official said commercial insurers have expressed interest in providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge to their beneficiaries. Most of the insurers have covered other COVID-related services without a co-pay. — Jordan Williams