The Trump administration outlined a goal of vaccinating 100 million people with the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of February, which would be enough to reach all healthcare workers and the country’s at-risk population.Officials with Operation Warp Speed, a joint initiative of the departments of Health and Human Services and Defense (DOD), outlined the latest plans in a call with reporters Wednesday for distributing the initial doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.A vaccine could be approved as early as next week.
The initiative, which is coordinating distribution of the initial doses, plans to have 20 million people vaccinated by the end of the year, said Moncef Slaoui, M.D., chief adviser to Operation Warp Speed, during the call.The operation expects to vaccinate 30 million people in January and another 50 million by February as production of vaccines ramps up, Slaoui said.The first vaccine likely to be approved will be a candidate from Pfizer. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel is expected to review the vaccine Dec. 10, and emergency approval could happen soon after.
Roche Nets FDA Authorization for Quantitative COVID-19 Antibody Test
Roche has received authorization from the FDA for a more accurate COVID-19 blood test capable of measuring the levels of specific antibodies that target the coronavirus’s cell-unlocking spike protein. The company hopes the test can help track the success of vaccines as well as identify people who have recovered from an infection and could serve as convalescent plasma donors or assist in the development of new therapies.
The FDA green light for the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S quantitative antibody test, which runs on Roche’s cobas e analyzers, follows its September launch in Europe after receiving a CE mark. “Since the start of this pandemic, our focus has been to bring effective diagnostic testing solutions to the fight against COVID-19,” Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker, Ph.D., said in a statement. “Antibody tests like these will play a critical role in measuring a person’s vaccine-induced immune response.”