Adm. Giroir: Pandemic Could End by Mid-2021 With Vaccines Adm. Brett P. Giroir (Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 17 December 2020 02:37 PM
There is a "high degree of certainty" that by next June, anyone in the United States who wants a coronavirus vaccine can get one, and the end of the pandemic could come by "mid-next year," White House Coronavirus Task Force testing head Adm. Brett Giroir said Wednesday.
By the end of January, 20 million people are expected to have been vaccinated, Giroir told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo, with another 30 million in January and another 50 million doses in February.
"The end of the pandemic is in sight, it really is," Giroir said. "It's going to be mid-next year."
He added that he's "very enthusiastic" about Moderna's vaccine, which is expected to be approved before the week is out.
According to summaries by the Food and Drug Administration, the Moderna vaccine not only has a 95% efficacy rating in preventing COVID, said Giroir. It also works in people from 18 and up, across the age spectrum, and causes "very mild" side effects, mainly a feeling of fatigue and soreness in the arm.
"In addition to 2 million doses from Pfizer, we expect 5.9 million doses of Moderna, almost 8 million next week, on top of 2.5 million this week," he said.
Meanwhile, the shots are "absolutely on schedule," said Giroir, and the end of the pandemic is "in sight. It really is going to be mid next year."
There have been a few reports of a serious allergic reaction from the Pfizer vaccine, but those are rare, said Giroir.
"This is probably going to be in the range of one in 500,000 to one in a million," said Giroir. "We want to make sure that even in those circumstances there are appropriate medicines to treat it."
He added that the vaccines are an important part of achieving herd immunity.
"What we're doing right now is very important, because we are vaccinating for real immediate impact," said Giroir, adding that by vaccinating the elderly first, the mortality rate will go down significantly in the next few months.
"I feel for all my frontline workers," he said. "They have just been heroic during this entire time. They need some relief. Relief is coming for them that is good news for all of America."
Giroir, who is a pediatric critical care specialist, added that children are susceptible to COVID-19 but have a much lower chance of having severe consequences from the disease, and more indications are showing in-person schools are safe.