WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked state officials to be ready to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as October.
According to documents obtained by The New York Times, the CDC has also given states scenarios to help them prepare. The scenarios included prioritizing health care professionals and essential workers in the event the vaccine supply is limited.
Last week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield sent states a letter asking them to waive requirements that might prohibit quick vaccine distribution, according to CNN. The CDC has asked that any restrictions be adjusted by November 1.
“Right now I will say we’re preparing earnestly for what I anticipate will be reality … that there’ll be one or more vaccines available for us in November, December — and we have to figure out how to make sure they’re distributed in a fair and equitable way across the country,” Redfield said while speaking to Yahoo Finance.
Dr. Scott Atlas, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, talked about vaccinations this week during a trip to Tampa with Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“It’s anticipated there’s going to be 100 million doses of vaccine by the end of the year,” Atlas said.
Companies preparing vaccines are also working on increasing distribution in the event their product is approved.
Three vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials in the United States. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has said it’s possible the FDA would authoritize an experimental vaccine before large Phase 3 trials have been completed.
Right now, questions surround the vaccine availability when it comes to who gets it first. Those who are high risk and those on the front lines are scheduled to be first in line to be vaccinated, according to the CDC.
“The way vaccines work, there’s a prioritization for people who are high risk to get vaccines first. In general, that’s the way a pandemic vaccine works,” Atlas said.
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