States will start receiving shipments of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine on Monday, with military trucks delivering shipments to 150 sites and hundreds more throughout the week, the Associated Press reported Saturday.
The effort will be the final part of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which has sought to boost the development, approval and delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine. An additional 425 distribution sites will receive shipments Tuesday, and 66 more on Wednesday, according to the AP.
The Trump administration has said health care workers and those at extreme risk of COVID-19 will be prioritized for the first wave of vaccines. Trump has said 100 million doses will be available by the end of 2020, and 600 million more by March 2021. (RELATED: Pfizer Vaccine ‘Likely’ To Be Discouraged For Pregnant Women, FDA Adviser Says)
Trump originally said he expected that an effective vaccine could begin distribution in October, which did not happen.
The Pfizer vaccine received an emergency use authorization from the FDA on Friday, but its slow pace frustrated Trump and other lawmakers. Canada and the United Kingdom had already approved the vaccine last week. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reportedly told FDA head Stephen Hahn to approve the vaccine Friday or resign.
UPDATE: “This is an untrue representation of the phone call with the CoS. The FDA was encouraged to continue working expeditiously on […] EUA request. FDA is committed to issuing this authorization quickly as we noted in our statement this morning” -Dr Hahn per @albamonica https://t.co/p9FXsGd6RF
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) December 11, 2020
While my pushing the money drenched but heavily bureaucratic @US_FDA saved five years in the approval of NUMEROUS great new vaccines, it is still a big, old, slow turtle. Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA. Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2020
Nearly 300,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus in 2020. Experts say a large majority of Americans need to take the vaccine for it to be effective.