Asked by CNN's Jake Tapper how many Americans would need to be vaccinated for life to return to normal and when that might happen, Slaoui said that about 70 percent of the USA population would have to be immunized "for true herd immunity".
The statement comes shortly after United States pharmaceutical company Moderna announced that it would charge countries that want to buy its candidate vaccine against COVID-19 between $25 and $37 per dose. Pfizer's application will be reviewed by an FDA advisory committed on December 10.
"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I would expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December", Slaoui told CNN on Sunday.
The vaccine will first be made available to front-line healthcare workers and emergency responders, then to at-risk groups, like the elderly. Similarly, on November 18, Pfizer had said that final results from the late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine was found to be 95 per cent effective and had no serious side effects on older people. "That is likely to happen somewhere in the month of May―or something like that―based on our plans", he added. A recent Gallup poll showed only 58 per cent of Americans would get the vaccine, up from 50 per cent in September.
Slaoui said he and his family would be "happy" to receive the treatment.
Melissa Harting of Harpersville, New York participates in a study of the vaccine for COVID-19 developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna.
"We're clearly involved now in a very, very hard surge here throughout the United States and even globally", Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told NBC.
Mr Biden warned last week that "more people will die if we don't coordinate".