Admiral Brett Giroir, the director of US coronavirus testing and the nation's executive representative to the World Health Organization, told FOX News on Friday that the end of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is "in sight" as the country begins rapid vaccinations.
Giroir claimed that, thanks to the fast-tracked approval process afforded to Pfizer and Moderna for their coronavirus vaccines, up to 20 million Americans could be vaccinated in December, another 30 million in January, and as many as 50 million new vaccinations could be administered in February.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the first 24 million people to receive the vaccine will be healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurses, as well as millions of long-term care residents who are among the most vulnerable to the virus.
Nevertheless, Giroir said that "we still have a lot of work to do until most people get vaccinated and the pandemic goes away."
"We are in the process of truly what we call microplanning with the states, but the specific vaccine allocation is up to the governors," he continued.
Giroir also noted that the Pfizer vaccine, which requires extremely cold storage temperatures, will likely be distributed from healthcare institutions such as hospitals. The Moderna vaccine, which does not require such cold temperatures, will likely be delivered on a significantly wider scale.
"We are very confident that by the May-June time period that any American that wants a vaccine will have a vaccine available. So this is going to be extremely rapid," Giroir claimed.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that the Pfizer vaccine may begin distribution as soon as Monday.
Since the virus arrived in the US, over 16 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus and over 300,000 have died. There have been nearly 10 million recorded recoveries.