Americans may have access to the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine as early as December 11th, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the head of Operation Warp Speed.

Covid-19, VaccinePool / Getty Images

“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval,” said Slaoui. “So I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December."

Operation Warp Speed is the government's public-private partnership to help facilitate the manufacturing of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Despite this, Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development, Kathin Jansen, says the company was not helped financially by the program: "We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone," Jansen told the New York Times.

The news of a vaccine comes as coronavirus cases are seeing a second wave in the United States. Friday, confirmed cases of COVID-19 had surpassed 12 million in the United States. Cases are expected to continue to rise with many Americans likely traveling around the country in celebration of Thanksgiving. "Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19," the CDC said on Thursday. "Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

Both Pfizer and Moderna have announced vaccines with over 90% efficiency rates.