It's possible that the first COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) could soon win emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But how quickly will these vaccines be available to Americans if EUA is granted?

In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Dec. 3, 2020, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and writer Keith Speights discuss the potential timing for vaccine distribution. There's some good news for Americans.

Corinne Cardina: If either or both of these vaccine candidates are approved, how soon will the first doses be available? We are starting with the most at-risk populations in the United States. Have there been any updates in terms of distribution and logistics?

Keith Speights: What Operation Warp Speed is saying is that they are equipped and ready to quickly distribute vaccines immediately after emergency use authorization is obtained. They're saying within 24 hours. I think it could be sooner than that.

Pfizer is a different story. Pfizer and BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) have already started to preposition their vaccines in distribution hubs across the US, so even before they get EUA, they've been shipping vaccine doses from a manufacturing facility in Belgium. They flew it into Chicago and then from there onto other distribution hubs. They want to be ready as soon as they get the word that they've received EUA, they want to be able to start moving doses into the administration sites as quickly as possible. It actually could be hours instead of just days in terms of how quickly some Americans could start to begin receiving these vaccines after EUA has been received.

Corinne Cardina: Absolutely. I think Operation Warp Speed has worked out an agreement with CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) and Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA), and so those pharmacy companies are going to be administering the vaccines to residents of the long-term care facilities. Both of those pharmacy stocks have been outpaced in the broader market in the past month, so I think investors are excited about their role in this.

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