The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked states to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine to be available by November 1, asking them to remove any potential obstacles that may prevent the opening of the distribution sites.
In early August, the CDC had already advised states to assume that there might be “limited doses” of a vaccine available in the fall. Now, in its new letter, to which Bloomberg has had access, it is noted that the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC “are making rapid preparations to implement a large-scale distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the fall. 2020 “.
Asked about the CDC letter, Health and Human Services spokesman Michael Caputo noted that it is “increasingly likely” that many doses of vaccines will be available by January. “Doctors and data are driving the advancement of all measures against COVID-19,” he said.
States have been preparing vigorously for a vaccine, and the November 1 date is in line with previous preparations, said Michael Fraser, executive leader of the Association of State and Territorial Health Authorities.
According to Fraser, an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will likely be needed to distribute a vaccine this soon.
If this date is confirmed, it would be just two days before the November 3 elections, in which the president, Donald Trump, will seek his second term. The president has previously said that he believes a vaccine will be ready by Election Day or shortly before.
In addition, he has accused the FDA staff of slowing down work on vaccines to harm him politically. The accusations have raised questions about political interference in studies for the development of COVID-19 vaccines, to which FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has repeatedly stated that science will guide any decision.
For his part, a federal representative familiar with the plans has indicated that the November 1 date is for planning purposes only and is not intended to influence the presidential elections. According to this official, the Government is based on the assumption that there will be a vaccine available.