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Covid-19 vaccine unlikely to be available to public before Q3 2021, says US CDC Chief

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 17, 2020 Published on September 17, 2020

FDA is planning a meeting with its Vaccine Advisory Committee on October 22   -  THE HINDU

But US President Trump counters CDC chief, says announcement can come in October

A Covid-19 vaccine is not likely to be available to a larger population in the US before the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021, according to the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield.

Redfield, at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, said that there will be very limited supply of the vaccine at the end of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported. In terms of distribution, high-risk individuals and frontline workers will be prioritised.

“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public, so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third, late second quarter, third quarter, 2021,” he said as quotes by the report.

Trump counter

The timeline was countered by the US President Donald Trump who said that he had called the CDC Chief after he made his remarks before the Senate panel, the report said.

“I think he got the message maybe confused, maybe it was stated incorrectly,” Trump said as quoted by the report.

“It could be announced in October, it could be announced a little bit after October,” he said.

CDC in a letter addressed to State governors on August 27 had asked States to remove barriers and expedite the approval medical supplier McKesson to help it set up distribution sites for Covid-19 vaccines by November 1, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Emergency approval

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn in an interview with the Financial Times had said that it would be appropriate to grant an emergency approval to a Covid-19 vaccine before the completion of Phase 3 clinical trials.

“We all recognize that the public will have confidence in our decisions only if they are supported by the science. My personal commitment is to assure that all decisions meet FDA’s standard. The patient and the public always come first,” Hahn had tweeted.

FDA is planning a meeting with its Vaccine Advisory Committee on October 22.

Meanwhile, top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci in an interview with MSNBC had said that the initial data on vaccines’ safety and efficacy could be available as soon as November or December.

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Published on September 17, 2020
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