The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told public health officials around the United States to prepare to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine as soon as late October. It also provided planning scenarios to help states prepare.
The documents were posted by The New York Times and the CDC confirmed to CNN it has sent them to
city and state public health officials.
The scenarios offer details about distribution for two Covid-19 vaccines when supplies “may be
constrained.” The documents prioritize particular populations for the vaccines, including health care
professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents and staff and national security
CNN reported last week that expect any vaccine to be fully tested.
The scenario documents do not necessarily mean a vaccine will be available by late October. Pandemic
planning exercises have for years included recommendations that the federal government ready a
distribution network while scientists work on a vaccine. The Trump administration has said it’s doing this.
Companies developing the vaccines are already ramping up manufacturing so that, in case one or more
is found safe and effective in people, it could start going into arms immediately.
“The COVID-19 vaccine landscape is evolving and uncertain, and these scenarios may evolve as more
information is available,” one of the scenario documents advises.
Redfield said Wednesday that his 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 during an interview with
Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, including US Food and Drug Administration
Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, have said recently it’s possible the FDA could authorize an
experimental Covid-19 vaccine before large Phase 3 trials are complete, if data shows a vaccine was
safe and effective.
Three vaccines are currently in Phase 3 trials in the United States: those developed by Moderna and the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Pfizer and BioNTech; and AstraZeneca and the
University of Oxford.( CNN / IM )