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US Prepares for First COVID-19 Shots as Another Vaccine Candidate Emerges

(Reuters) - U.S. officials expect to begin inoculating Americans against the novel coronavirus by mid-December as another global drug company on Monday unveiled promising trial results on a vaccine candidate, providing hope as the pace of infections accelerated.

The head of the U.S. campaign to rapidly deploy a vaccine that U.S. healthcare workers and other high-risk people could start getting shots produced by Pfizer Inc within a day or two of regulatory consent next month.

"I would expect, maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or 12th of December, hopefully the first people will be immunized across the United States," Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for "Operation Warp Speed," told CNN on Sunday.

With many Americans traveling and potentially increasing their risk ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the United States has surpassed 12 million infections and the death toll has climbed to more than 255,000 since the pandemic began.

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