The U.S. could immunize Americans who are most susceptible to the coronavirus by December. On Monday, Donald Trump’s coronavirus czar said the country could immunize its most vulnerable citizens before the year ends if a vaccine is approved before then.  

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the head of the administration’s COVID-19 vaccine program, also said most of the healthcare workers and the elderly citizens could get their doses of the vaccine by January. He said the rest of the public could get a vaccine sometime between January and April 2021.

Dr. Slaoui claimed that the COVID-19 vaccine development was progressing “very well” and revealed that the U.S. had already invested in 25 various manufacturing facilities to help in the production of six coronavirus vaccine candidates. He said the country had allotted billions on the potential vaccines being developed by Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca, all of which are currently in late-stage trials.

“We are already stockpiling small amounts of vaccine doses that could become readily available in November or in December,” he said.

His remark came after Donald Trump claimed on Friday that a coronavirus vaccine could be ready by October. In an interview last week, Trump said the U.S. would manufacture at least 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before the end of the year. He also claimed the country would have enough doses to inoculate every American by April 2021.

U.S. health officials have repeatedly said that there is no guarantee that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine will be available by the end of the year or early 2021. Trump’s promise to deliver a coronavirus vaccine before December has added to concerns that he is only pressuring U.S. regulators to approve a vaccine even without adequate testing.

In September, drug companies issued a letter vowing to prioritize safety and uphold “the integrity of the scientific process” in their vaccine development programs. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn also promised he would not overrule career scientists at the FDA on a vaccine approval.

Vaccine Discussion about the Cuba's life-saving lung cancer vaccine called CimaVax-EGF is growing rapidly. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard