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HHS' Azar: 'Every American who would like to have a vaccine can get one' by second quarter of 2021

Azar said vaccine distribution process will begin "within days” of the FDA’s advisory committee granting emergency approval

Updated: December 8, 2020 - 7:01am

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Monday reinforced his support for the administration’s efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to Americans as quickly and safely as possible.

He said the distribution process will begin "within days” of the FDA’s advisory committee granting emergency approval for a vaccine – with the agency expected to give the OK within the next two weeks. 

Azar also pushed back on a news report that the administration – under its “Operation Warp Speed” initiative – will deliver fewer-than-promised vaccines by the end of the year.

Azar told Fox News that 40 million vaccines are ready for “immediate release,” with an additional 20 million in reserve and that the vaccine will be readily available by early next year.

“By the second quarter of next year, every America who would like to have a vaccine can get one,” he said. 

Azar also said the anticipated FDA approval of vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna will create the immediate stock and that promising vaccines by such companies as Johnson & Johnson and AstraZenca are expected to soon add to those numbers.

On the issue of why other countries appear ahead of the U.S. on vaccine rollouts, Azar said he wants Americans to see his and the rest of the administration's commitment to following the FDA's "global gold standards."

Azar said Sunday that Democrat Joe Biden’s statement that the administration has no plan to deliver a vaccine was “nonsense.” 

“With all respect that’s just nonsense, we have comprehensive plans from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] working with 64 public health jurisdictions across the country,” Azar said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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