The principals behind the federal Operation Warp Speed initiative expressed optimism yesterday that the Food and Drug Administration could soon authorize two safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccines. The panel said it expects approximately 40 million doses of the two vaccine candidates to be available for distribution in the U.S. by the end of December.

"Production, of course, would continue to ramp up after that," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, noting that, in addition to supporting the development of vaccine candidates, Operation Warp Speed is focused on the allocation, distribution, administration and ongoing monitoring and data work for approved vaccines.

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