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U.S. prepares for vaccine distribution

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 11/30/20, 01:38 pm

Moderna Inc. is asking regulators in the United States and Europe on Monday for emergency use approval for its COVID-19 vaccine, developed in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health. It reported over the weekend that final results from trials suggest its shot is 94 percent effective. Two other companies, Pfizer and its partner BioNTech, have already applied for approval of their versions of the vaccine.

When can we get the vaccine? A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel is scheduled to debate Pfizer’s data on Dec. 10 and Moderna’s on Dec. 17. If it approves either vaccine, rollout will begin on a yet-to-be-finalized order of priority. Healthcare workers and at-risk elderly people in care homes will likely get it first. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said he hopes to have enough doses to vaccinate adults older than 65 by the end of January. Pfizer plans to have enough doses for 12.5 million Americans ready in December, while Moderna expects to have enough for 10 million people by the end of the year. The general U.S. population likely won’t have access to a vaccine until at least the spring. The British government on Sunday said it has ordered 7 million doses of Moderna’s two-shot vaccine and 40 million doses from Pfizer.

Dig deeper: Read Katie Gaultney’s report on the volunteers who stepped up to help with vaccine development.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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