Bulletin
Investor Alert

New York Markets After Hours

Key Words Archives | Email alerts

Jan. 25, 2021, 3:16 p.m. EST

When can younger, healthy people get vaccinated? A former Biden COVID-19 adviser says it will be months

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Pfizer Inc. (PFE)
  • X
    BioNTech SE ADR (BNTX)
  • X
    BioNTech SE ADR (22UA)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Meera Jagannathan

As many states struggle to administer COVID-19 vaccines to an impatient public and the U.S. death toll ticks higher , a Biden transition adviser estimated a timeframe for when Americans at lower risk will be able to get their shots.

As Céline Gounder, a New York University infectious-disease expert who served on President Joe Biden’s recently dissolved COVID-19 advisory board, told CNN on Sunday night :

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that while supply is limited, health-care workers and long-term-care residents be offered initial vaccine doses, followed by frontline essential workers and people 75 and older. 

Recipients in the agency’s next suggested phases include people aged 65 to 74, people aged 16 to 64 with underlying conditions that put them at greater risk for COVID-19 complications, and other essential workers not included in previous phases. But beyond the first-priority group, many states have deviated from the CDC’s recommendations, one recent analysis showed.

As for the general public, Sandra Albrecht, a Columbia University assistant professor of epidemiology and chief epidemiologist for the science-communication project Dear Pandemic , previously told MarketWatch that “the earliest will likely be in the spring, but more likely over the summer.”

And Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert and now Biden’s chief medical adviser, told NPR on Jan. 7 that he expected “by the time we get to April, it will be what we call open season on vaccines,” meaning everyone would be eligible to get one.

“I think by the end of the summer, if we get 70% to 85% of the population vaccinated and get a good herd immunity, I think by the fall we could start to approach some form of normality,” he said.

Biden has set a target of administering 100 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer–BioNTech /zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite PFE +0.21% /zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite BNTX -1.61% /zigman2/quotes/222361179/delayed XE:22UA +0.81% and Moderna /zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite MRNA +2.48% vaccines within his first 100 days — a goal critics have alternately suggested is too ambitious and not ambitious enough .

Fauci told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that even though the nation had already administered a million daily doses on some days, “that has been predominantly in areas that are relatively easy from the standpoint of getting it done in a nursing home or in a situation in a hospital setting.”

“I think there is this misperception out there … [that] because we’ve hit 1 million a day for a couple of days that when we get out into the community, it’s going to be really easy to do that,” he said. “That’s not the case. It is going to be a challenge. I think it was a reasonable goal that was set.”

About 41.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been distributed to states as of Sunday morning, according to a CDC tracker, and 21.8 million doses had been administered. Some 18.5 million people have received one or more doses, with 3.2 million people having received their two doses.

Close to 2.6 million doses have been administered in long-term-care facilities in a federal pharmacy partnership, a subset of the overall numbers.

Why the substantial gap between vaccine doses distributed and actually administered? “We need more vaccine. We need more vaccinators. We need more vaccination sites,” White House chief of staff Ron Klain told “Meet the Press” on Sunday. 

Also read: CDC Director Rochelle Walensky: ‘I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have’

The Biden administration will work with states to tackle the problem, Klain said, but also set up federal vaccination centers to help fill gaps in states without enough vaccination sites, as well as work alongside vaccine manufacturers to ramp up production.

CDC director Rochelle Walensky, meanwhile, said in a “Fox News Sunday” interview that supply of vaccine doses would likely be the greatest constraint early on — and that she hoped production would scale up “dramatically” by the end of March.

“We’re really hoping that after that first 100 days we’ll have much more production, not just for these two vaccines, but we are hopeful that we’ll have another one from Johnson & Johnson /zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite JNJ +0.10% in the weeks ahead and perhaps even a fourth coming down the pipeline,” Walensky said. “So we are really hoping that we’ll have more vaccines and that will increase the pace at which we can do the vaccinations.”

/zigman2/quotes/202877789/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 33.82
+0.07 +0.21%
Volume: 37.42M
Feb. 25, 2021 4:03p
P/E Ratio
19.83
Dividend Yield
4.61%
Market Cap
$187.60 billion
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/214419716/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 112.33
-1.84 -1.61%
Volume: 1.12M
Feb. 25, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$27.49 billion
Rev. per Employee
$92,777
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/222361179/delayed
XE : Germany: Xetra
94.46
+0.76 +0.81%
Volume: 83,080
Feb. 25, 2021 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
€22.68 billion
Rev. per Employee
€82,892
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/205619834/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 148.38
+3.59 +2.48%
Volume: 15.12M
Feb. 25, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$57.29 billion
Rev. per Employee
$72,541
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201724570/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 162.76
+0.17 +0.10%
Volume: 9.71M
Feb. 25, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
29.52
Dividend Yield
2.48%
Market Cap
$427.40 billion
Rev. per Employee
$613,918
loading...

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In
Personal Finance

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Rates »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.