The First Doses of the Covid-19 Vaccine Could Go Out Next Month. Distributing It to Over 330 Million People Living in the U.S. Is the Next Hurdle

Antonio Perez | Chicago Tribune | Tribune News Service | Getty Images
  • The U.S. could see the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine as early as December.
  • Physically getting the vaccine to all of the more than 330 million people living in the U.S. could be just as daunting as developing a brand-new medicine.

The results of the Covid-19 vaccine trials are starting to come in, and they're looking good. We could see distribution as early as December.

In the history of medicine, the quickest vaccine to have ever been developed took four years. This one came in eight months.

Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are the most promising.

"These vaccines have the potential to be real game changers as we go into 2021," said Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner. "You can effectively end the U.S epidemic."

The next challenge, however, is just as daunting as developing groundbreaking medicine: physically getting the vaccine to all of the more than 330 million people living in the U.S.

"The vaccine distribution and program implementation is going to be the most complex vaccination program ever attempted in human history," said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director for immunization education at the Immunization Action Coalition.

To achieve herd immunity, experts say that about 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated or have natural antibodies. Pfizer's vaccine requires two doses. That's about 462 million doses for herd immunity and an estimated 660 million doses for the entire population that will need to be manufactured, financed, distributed and administered.

However, not even Pfizer knows how long protection against the virus will last.

Watch this video to find out how the U.S. government plans to get a coronavirus vaccine to every person living in the U.S. – and how much it will cost.

Subscribe to CNBC Pro for the TV livestream, deep insights and analysis  on how to invest during the next presidential term.

Copyright CNBC
Contact Us