tv Operation Warp Speed News Conference on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution CSPAN December 13, 2020 12:33am-1:03am EST
around the united states over the next week according to the new york times. pfizer has said it will be able to supply up to 25 million doses before the end of this year, and 100 million total vaccines by march, 2021. gus perna chief , operation officer, of operation warp speed, says he expects the coronavirus vaccine first shipments will arrive at 145 sites across the country on monday. the pfizer vaccine will begin moving to ups hubs within the next 24 hours to go out to locations nationwide, with more going out on tuesday and wednesday. gov. perna: for seven months, we have realized the greatest public-private partnership in modern times. doctors, scientists,
researchers, factory workers, logisticians, and hundreds more have all come together for a singular purpose. that purpose -- save lives and end the pandemic. we checked our egos at the door. we have worked collectively to solve the problem and we have achieved success as identified last night by the fda when they approved emergency use authorization of the vaccine. of the vaccine. now we begin distribution of the vaccines to americans. you have heard me refer to today as d-day. some people assume that i meant day of distribution. in fact, d-day in military designates the date the mission begins. d-day was a pivotal turning point in world war ii and was the beginning of the end. d-day was the beginning of the end and that is where we are today.
make no mistake, it was not the end. months and months of hard work and battles occurred and it took diligence, courage and strength to achieve victory. victory did come, and while this moment is extraordinary, and i am proud to be here, announcing where we are with distribution, we have a lot of work to do it we are not taking a victory lap. we know that the road ahead will be tough. we know that situations will occur, but we will figure it out together collectively to solve the problems. at the end of the day, we have an excellent plan that has been well coordinated and well rehearsed and well collaborated with everybody from the total government through commercial industry down to the governors
of the states. i am confident in it. those who plan for perfection, right, will not be successful in their plan. we have to be able to see ourselves at all times and execute adjustments accordingly. what happens next? my guidance was to ensure this precious commodity is received by the trained professionals at each state. we had to plan for the best outcome without knowing exactly when eua would occur. we immediately went into action and implemented a sliding scale that allowed us to ensure that everything is in place and people are ready accordingly. the first shipments should
arrive monday morning, and extensive coordination will ensure that this occurs. we have worked with pfizer, ups, fedex, federal and local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security of the vaccine. make no mistake, distribution has begun. now ochs's are being packed and -- boxes are being packed and loaded with vaccine and within the next 24 hours they will move vaccine from the pfizer facility to the ups and fedex hubs. then it will go out to the 636 locations nationwide which were identified by the states and the territories. we expect 145 sites across the states to receive vaccine on monday. another 425 sites on tuesday and
the final 66 wednesday, completing the initial delivery of the pfizer orders for vaccine. at the sites, the vaccine will marry up with the ancillary kits we have distributed, which include needles and syringes and other supplies necessary for the shots. we remained agile and adaptive to what the situation brings to us as we work through many time zones and areas of concern. we will manage the distributions on a day to day process. it is through the foundation established by the incredible experts of cdc, the capability
of commercial industry including pfizer, mckesson, fedex, ups, walgreens, cvs and others, and most importantly, the governors, public health officers and health care care communities, that this plan will succeed. because of the energy the whole of america approach, i am 100% confident that we will distribute safely this precious commodity, this vaccine needed to defeat the enemy covid. many want to know who will receive the first vaccine, and while i leave that up to the experts, i remind you of this, nearly 100,000 americans have already rolled up their sleeves and participated in clinical trials across america. they were the true first recipients of the vaccine. they deserve our respect and appreciation. without them, we could not be
here today, true american heroes. this is a monumental week for us all as we distribute the first millions of doses to the american people. each week that follows we will have more doses ready for allocation and distribution. we are posturing for the moderna vaccine if they receive approval. this is about steady cadence of delivery to bring the americans confidence that the vaccine is coming. we went to assure it arrives safely and it can be administered when it arrives. it is so important that all vaccine available is utilized as a shot in the arm and nothing is wasted. this is our focus, everything day, every minute that we have.
we know everyday american lives are lost, more fall sick every day, struggle with the circumstances of the pandemic. while today we applied everyone who is a part of the team, part of the success that has brought us here today, we know that we are not done. we are not done until every american has access to the vaccine, to every american that once it, receives it. this is our goal we work every day to achieve it. i ask all of us to be vigilant and understand what we are doing and collectively read about the vaccines and make decisions about the vaccine and your use of it accordingly. i think it will be a wonderful time as we deliver more vaccines every day and more and more people receive the vaccine.
we will be working hard the next couple days to ensure these first shipments go very well. it is the foundation for all future deliveries. i know you will have question so i commit to keep updates, starting with monday morning as we update here we are operationally. i have 100% confidence that we will get the vaccines to the american people and that it will be safe and secure when it arrives. i want to say thank you to everybody to getting us here today and your time to listen to my comments. now i am ready for questions that you may have. thank you. >> your line is open. >> thank you for doing this briefing.
many of us who report on this know the white house pressured the fda to do the eua -- does this make any difference to you in terms of the approval being issued late last night versus this morning and in terms of delivering the vaccine? >> as i alluded to in my comments, we developed a plan, a sliding scale so that when vaccine became available, we were able to begin immediate implementation. as of last night, when i got word, we went into our updates hourly so we were making sure we were postured for the first part of the morning, and then we had a checklist of things from the organization here down through pfizer, mckesson, ups -- [indiscernible]
we want to make sure the vaccine arrives at a time period, where people, the officials are available to receive it, and then eventually administer it. as the decision was made and i adjusted the scale daily, our goal was to get it there no later than monday morning through distribution. as i speak today, vaccines are being packaged with emphasis on the quality assurance to that end. tomorrow morning, vaccines start rolling from manufacturing to distribution hubs. monday, vaccines will be received. thank you. >> elizabeth, your line is open.
>> two questions. one, has any vaccine been repositioned or is everything still happening at the kalamazoo facility, and the provider agreements that the providers have signed asked for receipt possibility times monday through friday. does that mean the vaccine cannot be delivered saturday and sunday? >> what was the first question? so i had to just check that first question. no vaccine was repositioned. we did not want to presume eua. we did all of our timing, it was dependent on approval. under no circumstances did we want to get ahead of the great fda and that decision-making. we are ready to go now that the vaccine has been approved, and the wheels are in motion and vaccine will be in places as early as monday.
part two of your question is if we would have a steady cadence of delivery, and it is a drumbeat. allocations will be provided to states, the initial ones were provided several weeks ago. that is what we are operating off of initially. every night allocations are allotted to states. the vaccines will be going throughout the week to be delivered to everybody as long as you are a role provider. thank you. >> just as a reminder, there will be one question per reporter, please. our next question comes from katie thomas with the new york times. your line is open. >> in the first week shipment, the 2.9 million goes out, how do you plan to reach the goal by the end of the year with only a week left?
>> we work allocations based on what is available by the end of the week. our calculations, i believe that we will have 40 million doses at the end of the month. so every week i get an update and i know what has been approved by the fda for final distribution. the allocations are put into the system. states allocate and tell us where they want it by location and by quantity. then we execute through the great effort by pfizer, mckesson and ups and fedex. i feel confident that we can achieve the goal and it will be delivered to the american people. it is dependent every week on the final approval of the availability by the fda. we stay in a red them to ensure
we can meet the requirement. i will have to tell you where we are at the end of the month. thank you. >> our next question comes from dan. your line is open. >> general, i wonder if you can say anything about when the first doses will arrive at long-term care facilities versus health care workers. do you see one happening before another? >> as you know, we are working in support of the governors and the states for execution. we are delivering directly to the facilities where they have identified by the quantities they identified. i know that after speaking with many governors myself and then taking state briefs from all of
the states and regions, including the federal agencies, that they both -- many of them are going to simultaneously do front line health care workers as well as long-term care facilities. it is a matter of allocation and how they distribute accordingly to make sure they take care up the clumps in accordance with the vaccine available. numerous states have plans to do both simultaneously, and i think it could occur as early as the end of next week for sure. thank you. >> our question comes from med page today.
>> at a hearing before the senate discussing distribution of the vaccine, senator blumenthal asked about getting the vaccine to connecticut v.a. facility. leslie wheeler from ups says, yes, i believe we are assigned connecticut. are ups and fedex assigned to particular states? >> i don't know. they are both running execution of vaccine through the equitable distribution of vaccines to all states, jurisdictions and metropolitan cities. it is really about what requirements are and how they execute it, a great collaboration between ups and fedex, but there is no line in the united states that says fedex has the east coast or ups
has the west coast. it is about the operational execution of the vaccines available and the requirement each day as it occurs. thank you. >> our next question is from the washington times from tom howell. >> in the states told you where to send the vaccines, the initial shipments. can you give us a flavor of what these sites look like? are they big warehouses or places where there are smaller sites? >> one of the reasons why we regulated the flow of the initial doses going out to america, because we do have capacity to expand to good volume. one of the things i on it to ensure was the vaccine initially
on monday goes directly into freezer capability. the locations accordingly vary from hospitals to major hubs for distribution. it is directed by the states or planned by the states. we execute. our goal ultimately is to make sure that we can deliver to all providers as the states identify. as a matter of fact, i took a briefing this morning on the plan to achieve that. we think as early as about three weeks from now we can be delivering vaccines to all providers as directed by the states. for example, to the local pharmacies as they would like. all of the pharmacies that i
have taken briefings have the capacity to manage this as well as distribution. i am confident that as we do the initial shipments this week and then hopefully following with the moderna vaccine, we can ensure greater access to the vaccine availability for everybody. thank you. >> the next question comes from bloomberg news. >> thank you for taking my question. isu said warp speed withholding doses for emergency reserves.
what made the government confident enough to change that calculation and potentially distribute more initial doses, more than half of those kind of doses on hand? >> great question. we have started manufacturing as early as june, maybe even earlier in may as we started the steps to get us where we are today. it is an incredibly arduous process that is well regulated for all the right reasons. it was necessary to start that long ago to be here today. as we start today, availability of vaccine for both pfizer and moderna is why we are able to begin as early as monday. the reason why we are holding on to the second dose as well as
some reserve is that we don't have an absolute confidence in the cadence, not because pfizer or moderna are not diligent in their process, but it is such a delicate process, we want to ensure perfection in the vaccine because we do not want anything going into an arm that would be a problem. we are being diligent and only after the vaccines are approved will i allocate doses accordingly. your question was when do i see that changing, holding second dose and reserve, first of all, reserve. reserve is about being able to have flexibility and being agile and adapt to the situations, things that might happen in
distribution as we go along execution so i can immediately get things to wear and needs to be so everybody has their and equitable execution to the american people. i see reserve dwindling everyday as we move forward, more confidence in execution, in administration and uptake, in the use, the american people wanting the vaccine. my goal is to drive that down because we want no vaccines on the shelf. holding the second dose is just until we have ultimate confidence and we have built up stocks to ensure that second dose. the studies were based on second
doses. the fda approved on a second dose. for me this is a moral sponsor ability to make sure that second dose is available for the american people. we have just held onto it. it is in our cadence for delivery, 21 days later for pfizer and 28 days later for moderna. that is the plan right now. i think both the reserve and the second dose decisions, we will have more information over the next few weeks, middle january, middle february, i see a transition. thank you. >> we have time for two more questions. >> thank you for taking my
question. we know realistically, vaccines when they get shipped, there might be some spoilage. what kind of estimates are you taking into account or how much loss of vaccine there might be as this goes out, and how that affects your predictions or how many americans will be able to get vaccinated right away? >> i will assure you we have taken extreme precaution in execution and delivery of the vaccine. early on in my decision-making on how to deliver a vaccine, this was a bone ability identified in the way to mitigate it was the ultimate professionals in execution, from pfizer and moderna and then with ups and fedex, these organizations know how to distribute.
they have done cold chain storage and multiple shot execution. they know how to manage it and administer it safely and effectively. do i think something is going to occur? i do. we will retain some reserve to adjust and adapt and make sure americans have access to the vaccine immediately or as soon as i can get it there. i cannot get it there if i wish i had it. i needed to have it to make sure to adapt. thank you. >> our last question from bloomberg news. >> i'm wondering what commitments you can make on the call today about providing updates on inventory and
distribution as you work through the next several weeks and making sure that we can get clear numbers for exactly how much vaccine is available and where it is going. >> i assure you that the states and jurisdictions know exactly how much vaccine is available to them, what has been allocated and how it is distributed. i have 100% confidence in the transparency to that end. vaccine becoming available every week, as i described earlier, we have estimates, bat at the end at the end of the day, it does not count until the fda approves it. i will not allow those estimates to go forward for speculation because i want people to focus on what is available, develop
the plans to be ready to administer it accordingly. we will share allocations of the jurisdictions next week, but i would tell everybody that the way we developed the system is we are not waiting for vaccines to batch up. we want a consistent flow of available, approved vaccines distributed to the american people as soon as it is available. being able to manage an account d account for the numbers, as we go forward, has to be precise. we have created a system to ensure that we can account for every number and that at the end of the day can be held accountable to scrutiny to that end. i am confident and i will share allocations as we distribute this week.
we will build every week on >> the food and drug administration meet in open session to approve the pfizer vaccine. less coverage thursday at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. stream live and on-demand at c-span.org, or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> with coronavirus cases increasing across the country, use our website, c-span.org/coronavirus to follow the trends, track the spread with interactive maps, and watch updates on demand any time at c-span.org/coronavirus. ♪ is the view of