Agency mobilises states for support as US readies COVID-19 vaccine distribution by Nov. 1

*Health experts, scientists express concern Donald Trump’s administration might distribute a vaccine ahead of the November election for political purposes

*November 1 date for planning only, isn’t meant to influence presidential election, says Top Official

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

While urging them to remove any obstacles that could prevent distribution sites from opening, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has informed states to prepare for a COVID-19 vaccine to be ready by November 1, 2020.

The CDC in early August told states in the country to assume for planning that “limited doses” of a vaccine could be available in fall, reports Bloomberg.

The new August 27 letter, first reported by the news organisation McClatchy, sets the stage for a broader rollout.

A CDC spokesman confirmed the contents of the newsletter.

It was learnt that the date suggests the Federal Government is preparing for a vaccine to become available just days before President Donald Trump stands for reelection November 3, an aggressive goal that would depend on shots being tested and reviewed by then.

Trump’s political future hinges on the response to the virus that has killed almost 185,000 Americans.

The newsletter said the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC “are rapidly making preparations to implement large-scale distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the fall of 2020.”

A federal official familiar with the plans said that the November 1 date is for planning only, and wasn’t meant to influence the presidential election.

The official said the government hoped a vaccine would be ready later this year.

The letter asks governors to expedite facility permit applications from McKesson Corporation, the distributor that the government has contracted for the vaccine, and to waive rules that would prevent the sites from “becoming fully operational” by November 1.

State health officials have separately been told to get distribution plans to the federal government by October 1, report said earlier this week.

However, public health experts and scientists have expressed concern that the administration might distribute a vaccine under ahead of the November election for political purposes, before science dictates it’s safe and effective.

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