US President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday (local time) said the US is on track to begin immunisation against the COVID-19 by late December-early January next year as there have been "significant record-breaking progress" in developing a vaccine.
"There's been significant record-breaking progress made recently in developing a vaccine and several of these vaccines look extraordinarily effective. It happens to be on track for the first immunisation to begin by late December-early January," Biden said at Delaware on the occasion of Thanksgiving.
He added that there will be a need to put in place a distribution plan to get the entire country immunised as soon as possible "which we will do, but it's going to take time."
"I hope with the news of the vaccine will serve as an incentive to every American to take the simple steps to get control of the virus," the President-elect said.
Biden said that the American people are at war against the virus that originated from Wuhan and not with one another.
"We have fought a war with this virus (COVID-19), which has brought us pain, loss and frustration; it has cost so many lives. I know the country is growing weary of the fight but we need to remember that we are at war with the virus; not with each other," Biden said at a briefing.
"This is the moment where we need to steel our spines, redouble our efforts, and recommit ourselves to the fight. Let's remember that we are all in this together. We still have months of this battle ahead of us," he added.
As the US celebrates Thanksgiving on Thursday, along with Christmas in December, Biden acknowledged that it was going to be a difficult time for the American people who have lost a loved one due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"For those who have lost a loved one, I know that this time of the year can be especially difficult. Believe me, I know. I remember the first thanksgiving; the empty chair and silence take your breath away," Biden said.
The President-elect pointed out that the US is in the middle of "a dramatic spike" in COVID-19 cases.
"Many healthcare systems are at risk of being overwhelmed. We have to try to slow the growth of this virus. We owe it to the doctors, nurses and frontline workers who risked their lives and lost their lives in the heroic battle against this virus. We owe it to our fellow citizens; it means we wear a mask, keep social distancing and limit the size of any group we are in," he added.
With the news of the vaccine being promising, the President-elect said that there is "real hope" and urged the people to hang on. "Don't let yourself surrender to the fatigue. Know we can and we will beat this virus. America is not going to lose this war. You will get your lives back. Life is going to return to normal. That will happen. This will not last forever."
As per the latest updates by Johns Hopkins University, the US continues to be the worst-affected country from the COVID-19 pandemic with 12,662,851 cases and 260,869 deaths. As many as 4,696,996 patients have recovered from the disease in the US.