The COVID-19 vaccine is coming to the U.S. soon
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given state officials scenarios to help them prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as October. According to documents obtained by The New York Times, the scenarios include prioritization for health care professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents, and staff and national security populations should the vaccine supply become “constrained.”
Last week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asked states to get through permits for medical and pharmaceutical supplies company McKesson in order to take the next steps to distribute any eventual coronavirus vaccine. In a letter, Redfield asked states to waive any requirements that might get in the way of distributing vaccines by November 1. Companies that are preparing vaccines are also working on distribution efforts in the event their product is approved.
Moreover, the documents released by the CDC reveal that a vaccine may not necessarily be available by late October. Rather, pandemic planning exercises include recommendations that the federal government always remains prepared via a distribution network during which time scientists continue to work on a vaccine.
The Trump administration has claimed to have been doing this. “The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is evolving and uncertain, and these scenarios may evolve as more information is available,” one of the scenario documents reveals.
Redfield also stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance that his agency is preparing for one or more vaccines to be ready and available by the end of the year and that “they’re distributed in a fair and equitable way across the country.” Currently, three vaccines are in Phase 3 trials in the United States.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said it is possible the FDA will authorize an experimental COVID-19 vaccine before large Phase 3 trials are completed.
By: Maytinee Kramer