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What do we know about the CDC’s COVID vaccine plans?

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The CDC told public health agencies last week to begin preparing for distribution of limited doses of vaccine as early as late October.  President Trump’s vaccine chief, Moncef Slaoui, said on Thursday he believes it is “extremely unlikely but not impossible” that a vaccine will be available by late October but that it makes sense for public health agencies to prepare just in case.  Replying to whether the timing of the vaccine might be motivated by political concerns, he clarified that the two main candidates, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, will only complete trials when an independent safety monitoring board, separate from the government, affirmed the effectiveness of the vaccine. In the interview with NPR, Dr. Slaoui did say he firmly believes there will be a vaccine available before the end of the year, probably on the order of 20-25 million doses, with enough to vaccinate all of the US population available by mid-2021.  Who will have priority access to the first doses? In the documents sent to public health agencies, the CDC said certain groups would have priority, beginning with health care workers and essential workers in critical industries.  With about 17 to 20 million health care workers, 60 to 80 million essential workers and about 53 million people older than 65 in the US, the majority of the US population under age 65 is looking at early to mid-2021.

(Jennifer Abrams, MD, September 7, 2020)

Stanford University (undergrad)
Stanford University (med school)
Stanford University (residency)