A great many people probably won’t get a COVID immunization until the middle of 2021

FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Most Americans likely won’t get immunized with a coronavirus vaccine until the middle of next year, U.S. officials and public health experts say, even as the federal government asks states to prepare to distribute a vaccine as soon as November.

U.S. health officials expect to know whether at least one of the three potential vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca in late-stage testing works by the end of the year or sooner. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Thursday the company could have results from its late-stage coronavirus vaccine trial as early as October. 

Whichever vaccine wins regulatory authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, it will likely be in short supply once it’s cleared for public distribution, officials and experts warn. The vaccine will likely require two doses at varying intervals, and states still face logistical challenges such as setting up distribution sites and acquiring enough needles, syringes and bottles needed for immunizations.

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