The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has told US states to prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by November.
CDC Director Robert Redfield sent a message to governors on August 27 urging them to expedite applications for distribution facilities, according to a letter obtained by McClatchy.
“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Mr Redfield said.
“The requirements you may be asked to waive in order to expedite vaccine distribution will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed.”
The same day the CDC sent “hypothetical” guidance documents to public health officials – laying out scenarios for two candidates called Vaccine A and Vaccine B.
“Limited COVID-19 vaccine doses may be available by early November 2020, but COVID-19 vaccine supply will increase substantially in 2021,” the documents said.
In the three CDC scenarios detailed, Vaccine A and Vaccine B require two doses taken three to four weeks apart.
The scenarios assume one to three million doses of these vaccines could be available by the end of October with tens of millions available by the end of November.
“Jurisdictions must be prepared to immediately vaccinate identified critical populations when the earliest COVID-19 vaccine doses are available and approved by the US Food and Drug Administration,” the documents said.
“Jurisdictions should also begin planning for vaccination of the rest of the general population when COVID-19 vaccine supply allows.”
Healthcare and national security workers, at-risk demographics and “racial and ethnic minority populations” are top on the priority list in the scenarios
Both the letter and the documents were sent out on the same day that President Donald Trump proclaimed at the Republican National Convention “we’ll produce a vaccine before the end of the year or maybe even sooner”