Covid Shot Timeline May Slip by a Few Days as Pfizer Shot Nears


It may take a few days more than earlier thought to distribute the first vaccine authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the army general leading the rollout effort.

Gustave Perna said on Tuesday he expects shots to be administered within 96 hours, or four days, after being authorized. Previously, federal officials said they expected the shots to be shipped and administered within one or two days.

“We will start to have shots in arms within 96 hours,” Perna, the chief operations officer for Operation Warp Speed, said at a White House event Tuesday.

On Monday, in an appearance on Fox News, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir said the goal was to have shots in arms in a much quicker timeline.

“You’ve also heard General Perna and Dr. [Moncef] Slaoui say within 24 hours of that authorization, we’re going to have vaccine ready to go, and hopefully within 24 hours after that we’re going to be providing the first life-saving shots into people’s arms,” Giroir said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a Nov. 24 briefing that vaccine administration would begin immediately after shipment. “We believe we can distribute vaccines to all 64 jurisdictions within 24 hours of FDA authorization,” Azar said. “Then, we hope administration could begin as soon as the product arrives.”

A spokeswoman for Operation Warp Speed didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Perna’s remarks.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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