A small bottle labeled "Vaccine" is kept near a medical syringe.
Dado Ruvic | Reuters
The US should have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to allow Americans to return to "normal life" by the third quarter of next year, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told a Senate committee he expected vaccinations to start in November or December, but in limited quantities, with those most in need receiving the first doses, such as: B. Healthcare Workers.
"If you're asking me when it will be generally available to the American public so we can start using the vaccine to get back to our normal lives, then we're probably looking at the third … late second quarter, third quarter 2021, "he told the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Funds for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Allied Agencies.
Redfield said the Trump administration's Covid-19 vaccination program, Operation Warp Speed, is unprecedented. He told lawmakers that a vaccine typically lasts four to six years.
Public health experts have previously said that most Americans are unlikely to be vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine until the middle of next year. Regardless of which vaccine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it will likely run short once it's cleared for public distribution, medical experts warn. The vaccine is likely to require two doses at different intervals, and states still face logistical challenges such as setting up distribution points and obtaining enough needles, syringes, and bottles needed for immunizations.
Earlier in the day, the CDC outlined a comprehensive plan to make vaccines against Covid-19 available free to all Americans. In the plan, the CDC assumes that a coronavirus vaccine will receive emergency approval before full formal approval.
The U.S. government plans to ship the vaccine to distribution locations in the U.S. within 24 hours of an emergency clearance or clearing from the FDA, senior administration officials told reporters Wednesday morning. The government will appoint medical utility company McKesson as the primary distributor for the vaccine.
As larger amounts of vaccines become available, there will be two main goals, according to the CDC: to ensure widespread access and ensure high levels of immunization in target populations, especially those at high risk of death or complications from Covid-19.
Redfield said he has "microplanned" in five jurisdictions in North Dakota, Minnesota, California, Florida and Philadelphia.
I will be speaking to public health leaders this week, we will work with them so they can incorporate this plan in their own way for their own state, and there will be support to help them with the resource plan begin, "he said lawmakers said.
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