Azar Predicts General Population Can Start Getting Vaccine By End Of Feb, Early March

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on October 2, 2020. (Photo by Micahel A. McCoy - Pool/Getty Images)
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December 14, 2020 9:08 a.m.
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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Monday morning that he anticipates that healthy Americans will be able to begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of February to early March.

“I think we could be seeing that by late February going into March,” Azar said when asked on the “Today Show” when everyone, not just those in high risk groups such as health care workers or the elderly, can walk into their local pharmacy and get the vaccine.

With Pfizer’s vaccine already beginning its rollout, the HHS noted that there would be “significant additional supplies” if Johnson and Johnson or AstraZeneca get their vaccines approved in January.

“Late February in the March time period, I think you’ll start seeing more like a flu vaccination campaign, people going into their Kroger, their CVS, their Walgreens,” he said.

Health care workers, nursing home residents, and other vulnerable populations will start getting vaccinated over the next several days.

However, the Trump administration and Congress have provided little funding to state and local governments to help deploy the vaccine. Several health officials have told TPM that the lack of funds threatens to seriously delay the distribution process, throwing Azar’s predicted timeline into question.

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