The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed state health officials to prepare for the distribution of coronavirus vaccines early as late October. The CDC also laid put planning scenarios to help communities prepare.
The CDC confirmed to multiple media sources that it has sent these documents to state public health officials.
The CDC documents identified particular segments of the population who will receive the vaccines first. These include health care professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents, and staff, and national security populations.
Last week, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asked states to speed through permits for medical and pharmaceutical supplies company McKesson to help distribute any eventual coronavirus vaccine.
Redfield asked that requirements that might get in the way of distributing vaccines by November 1 be waived.
“The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is evolving and uncertain, and these scenarios may evolve as more information is available,” one of the scenario documents read.
Redfield also said Wednesday that the CDC agency is preparing for one or more coronavirus vaccines to be available before the end of the year.
“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 in a Yahoo Finance interview.
US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn has said the FDA could authorize an experimental Covid-19 vaccine even before large-scale Phase 3 trials are complete. However, the data from earlier trials must show that the vaccine is safe and effective.
Three vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials in the United States. One is from Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Another is Pfizer and BioNTech; and the last one is from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.