The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has instructed public health officials in all 50 U.S. states and five large cities to get ready to provide a viable COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers, in addition to other high-risk groups, according to an initial report from The New York Times.
The Times also said the vaccine could be ready as soon as late October or early November 2020.
CDC instructs states to prepare to distribute COVID-19 vaccine
The new guidance from the CDC is the latest hint of a rapidly-accelerating race to curate a vaccine and reverse the course of the COVID-19 pandemic that's killed more than 184,000 Americans. The guiding documents came the same day President Trump said a vaccine might be available before the end of 2020, in a speech to the Republican National Convention.
There were threeseparate documents sent to public health officials in every U.S. state and territory, in addition to Chicago, New York, Houston, Philadelphia, and San Antonio on August 27. Together, they outlined different scenarios for distributing two as-yet-unidentified vaccine candidates — each one requiring two doses spaced weeks apart in hospitals, mobile clinics, and other facilities that provide easy access to initial recipients of the vaccine.
UPDATE September 2, 3:36 PM EDT: Public health experts urge all governmental levels prepare for COVID-19 vaccine
In the last week, both Stephen Hahn — head of the Food and Drug Administration, and Anthony S. Fauci — the nation's lead infectious disease expert — have hinted about the possibility of vaccine availability for specific groups of people before clinical trials are finished, given the test data turns out to be positive.
Public health experts think agencies at all governmental levels should fully-commit to preparing for what will surely become a vast and painstaking effort to vaccinate hundreds of millions of Americans. However, the likelihood of a November rollout for the vaccine has also raised concern about the Trump administration pushing the distribution of the vaccine too quickly — or exaggerating a candidate vaccine's effectiveness — before election day hits on Nov. 3, reports the Times.
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