Louis-Armstrong

In the first distribution push, 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will be shipped across the U.S.

Around mid-December, 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine will be shipped out across the United States in an initial push after it receives an expected emergency authorization, officials leading Operation Warp Speed, the administration’s push to fast-track a vaccine, said on a call with reporters on Tuesday.

The first doses — which are expected to go to health care workers and potentially a few other vulnerable groups — will be allocated to all 50 states and eight territories, as well as six major metropolitan areas. The quantities will be based on how many adults live in each jurisdiction.

“We wanted to keep this simple,” said Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services.

Officials decided on that allocation formula, as opposed to one that would prioritize the hardest-hit parts of the country, in part because the virus is spreading rapidly nationwide, Mr. Azar said.

Operation Warp Speed notified states late Friday night of how many doses they’d be receiving in the first push to assist them in their planning, officials said Tuesday. Governors and other local leaders will be responsible for deciding where the shipments should go.

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