Coronavirus vaccine likely to be generally available in 2021, CDC director says

This picture taken on May 23, 2020 shows a laboratory technician holding a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate (MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr. Robert Redfield, director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said a coronavirus vaccine may be generally available to the American public by the late second quarter to the third quarter of 2021.

The comments came amid a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

Redfield said he thinks a vaccine will initially be available “sometime between November and December,” though in “very limited supply and it will have to be prioritized.”

The health director estimated about 80 million people in the country with comorbidities would likely get vaccinated first before the general public.

Dr. Bob Kadlec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response department with Health and Human Services, said “it’s possible” that the U.S. is within three to four weeks of getting a manufactured vaccine.

Kadlec added that some of the ongoing clinical trials for vaccine candidates will be “completed in October,” and will then await a decision from the Food and Drug Administration regarding safety and efficacy.

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