But Trump and one of his top advisers said he believed a vaccine would be approved, manufactured and ready for distribution by April.
In a briefing news Friday at the White House, Trump said, “As soon as a vaccine is approved, the administration will immediately pass it on to the American people.” “Delivery will begin 24 hours after notice.”
Earlier this week, the federal government’s Operation War Speed Program to develop the vaccine made the same promise. But Trump went ahead.
“We must have produced at least 100 million vaccine doses before the end of the year, and much more than that,” he said. “Millions of doses will be available every month, and we hope to have enough vaccines for every American by April.”
But the new advisor to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Drs. Scott Atlas echoed April’s promise in a news briefing.
“By April, every American who wants to be vaccinated will have the ability to vaccinate,” Atlas said.
Earlier this week, the Director of Disease Control and Prevention Drs. Robert Redfield heard a Senate appropriation committee say that it was likely to be in the second or third quarter of next year – late spring or summer – before widespread vaccination was underway in the US.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Drs. Anthony Fauci has said that he agrees with that time.
Asked about this, Trump replied: “It’s on the outer end, we think we can beat that number to a great extent.”
After Trump’s news conference, an administration health official reported that CNN relies heavily on the vaccine development process that is still ongoing. “Are they going to be safe and effective?” The officer asked.
The official said that Americans still cannot return to normal life until the third or fourth quarter of next year.
Pediatrician, Vaccine Specialist and Dean of National School of Tropical Medicine, Dr. of Boiler College of Medicine. Peter Hotez told CNN that Trump’s promise is unrealistic.
“The president or Dr. Atlas has too many unknowns to make those statements right now,” Hotez said.
“First of all, we don’t even know if any of the three operations in clinical trials employ warp speed vaccines or if they are safe,” he said.
“And we are building at risk, so I believe manufacturing numbers are possible, but then we don’t even have details on distribution based on which vaccines of all three works, or all three works.”
Most groups advising the federal government on the vaccine delivery plan recommend vaccinating people in groups, with frontline health care workers and those at high risk of critical illness lined up.
“We can have all the vaccinations in the country by April? I don’t see how that’s possible,” Hotez said.
“Vaccination of the nation by the end of 2021 will still be a record of the pace of a world land.”
CNN’s Jim Acosta and Matthew Hoye contributed to this report.