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Here's the latest:
The first coronavirus vaccine could be ready for distribution as early as mid-December pending Food and Drug Administration approval, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said Tuesday.
Last Friday, Pfizer became the first company to submit its vaccine for emergency authorization following an assessment that the vaccine was 95% effective during late-stage drug trials. Two other drugmakers have also reported promising results and are expected to submit their applications for approval soon.
In a press briefing by government officials working on the vaccine program known as Operation Warp Speed, Azar said that Pfizer's vaccine will be evaluated by an FDA committee on December 10. The government could begin shipping the vaccine soon thereafter, he said.
Officials said that the U.S. plans to initially roll out 6.4 million doses next month, and 40 million doses by the end of the year.
States and other U.S. jurisdictions were informed Friday about how many doses they would initially be receiving. The amounts are based on population.
"We wanted to keep this simple," Azar told reporters. "We thought that would be the fairest approach, the most consistent."
In terms of who will get the shots, he said governors will have the "final say."
Governor Andrew Cuomo has established a special task force to review any vaccine for safety and efficacy before it is distributed to New Yorkers. Earlier this month, the governor accused the Trump administration of attempting to collect personal information to track undocumented immigrants as part of its vaccine program.
"This is just another example of them trying to extort the state of New York for information that they can use at Department of Homeland Security and ICE to deport people," Cuomo said during a press call with reporters. "I will not do it."
The White House denied such an effort was taking place, calling Cuomo's remarks unfounded and politically motivated.
Cuomo has stressed the importance of ensuring an equitable distribution of the vaccine in New York, especially in light of how the pandemic has disproportionately hurt communities of color.
The Trump administration has struck agreements with pharmacies, including large chains like CVS and Walgreens, to distribute the vaccine, a plan that the governor said will disadvantage lower-income residents.
He has called for allowing immunizations to take place at schools, churches, and other community groups.