After months of lockdowns and travel restrictions, there might finally be a light at the end of the tunnel. Earlier this month, two COVID-19 vaccines — one developed by Pfizer and the other by Moderna — showed an efficacy over 94 percent in clinical trials. Although vaccinations will take time, and there won’t be enough doses for everyone right away, the US, Germany, and UK are aiming to begin vaccinating their populations as soon as December, while Spain will begin its vaccination program in January.
The UK could give regulatory approval to the Pfizer vaccine as early as this week, and the National Health Service has been told to be prepared to begin administering the vaccine starting December 1, The Telegraph reported. The UK expects to have enough doses to vaccinate five million people by the end of 2020, pending regulatory approval. The US and Europe are expected to see emergency authorization of the two vaccines early next month.
According to Moncef Slaoui, head of the US vaccine program, “Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December.”
Similarly, Jens Spahn, Germany’s health minister, said, “There is reason to be optimistic that there will be approval for a vaccine in Europe this year. And then we can start right away.”
According to The Guardian, Germany has secured more than 300 million vaccine doses.