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Most Americans to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by July, CDC chief expects

PoliticsSep 23, 2020 02:56PM ET
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8/8 © Reuters. Fauci, Redfield testify at U.S. Senate hearing on coronavirus response in Washington 2/8

(Reuters) - A top U.S. health official told a U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday that he expects COVID-19 vaccinations to take place over many months and that most Americans could be vaccinated by July of 2021 at the latest.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Robert Redfield said he expects there to be about 700 million doses of vaccines available by late March or April, enough for 350 million people.

"I think that's going to take us April, May, June, you know, possibly July, to get the entire American public completely vaccinated," Redfield told the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Redfield, U.S. Food and Drug Administration head Stephen Hahn, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases head Anthony Fauci and Health and Human Services official Brett Giroir were testifying on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused more than 200,000 deaths in the United States.

There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but there are several in late stage trials here, including from Pfizer Inc (N:PFE), Moderna Inc (O:MRNA) and Johnson & Johnson (N:JNJ). Companies have begun manufacturing the vaccine in anticipation of a fast regulatory authorization once they are shown to work.

Fauci said he expects 50 million doses to be available in November and 100 million by the end of December. He expects a total of 700 million doses by April.

Health officials and President Donald Trump have presented different views about when the vaccines will be ready for most Americans. The process for deciding how to distribute vaccines falls largely to the CDC.

Redfield said Operation Warp Speed, the government group with officials from the departments of Health and Human Services and Defense, will ultimately decide how to allocate the vaccines.

PLAYING DEFENSE

Senator Patty Murray, the highest ranking Democrat on the committee, pointed to some reported examples of Trump administration pressure on the health agencies, including FDA authorizations of hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma as treatments for COVID-19 and changes in the CDC's guidance on testing for asymptomatic individuals.

"Any of these examples of political pressure would be alarming on their own. But together they paint a clear pattern of interference that is downright terrifying," she said.

Redfield and Hahn defended their agencies against criticism of their handling of the pandemic, telling the committee they were using science as their guide, not politics.

"FDA will not authorize, or approve, a vaccine that we would not feel comfortable giving to our families," Hahn said.

Redfield said the agency's change to guidance for testing for asymptomatic individuals with close contact to a COVID-19 positive person was poorly written. It has since been updated to make it clear that such individuals should get a test, he said.

The CDC will release new guidance on the role of aerosolized coronavirus in its spread, Redfield said. The agency took down a Sept. 18 update to its transmission guidance that mentioned airborne virus for the first time, as it lacked the needed technical review.

Redfield also said that based on an antibody testing study, about 90 percent of Americans are still vulnerable to the virus.

Most Americans to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by July, CDC chief expects
 

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Comments (11)
Donbrown Brown
Donbrown Brown Sep 25, 2020 3:31PM ET
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The guy will be gone in a week or so
bruce johnson
bruce johnson Sep 24, 2020 2:16AM ET
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Where are antivirals?
William Bicknell
William Bicknell Sep 23, 2020 6:31PM ET
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this is insane. why are we still going along with this. 99%+ people recover or don't even have symptoms. This is insanity.
Jan Skilbrei
Jan Skilbrei Sep 23, 2020 6:31PM ET
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so, one percent can die or get permanent damage to their lives, die without able to breath , take oxygen. what if you yourself cannot breath?
Andrew carson
Andrew carson Sep 23, 2020 3:51PM ET
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What vaccines?
Ed Glass
EddieG Sep 23, 2020 3:17PM ET
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I am NOT taking it unless I have too. Anything coming out of of this CDC, not trust worthy. I sure my work will make it mandatory.
rob finch
rob finch Sep 23, 2020 3:12PM ET
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dont make one for me I'll pass.
Elvis Durant
Elvis Durant Sep 23, 2020 3:12PM ET
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NO thank you!
Andy He
Andy He Sep 23, 2020 3:12PM ET
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Lol good luck and dream on. Covid is here to stay for years to come. Subzero storage issues, latest poll showing only 40% of Americans are willing to take vaccacine combined with a 50-60% vaccine efficacy with unknown longterm side effects.... you are looking at 24% vaccinated people.
Curtis Faulconer Jr
CurtisChartBB Sep 23, 2020 2:46PM ET
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no mention of the foreign countries that have contracts with the American drug companies for certain amount of the vaccine
Muhamed Jaffir
Muhamed Jaffir Sep 23, 2020 2:12PM ET
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they are creating a vaccine no one wants. the fear cycle is shorter now. plague fatigue has set in.
Stephen Towne
Stephen Towne Sep 23, 2020 2:12PM ET
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good point
Curtis Faulconer Jr
CurtisChartBB Sep 23, 2020 2:12PM ET
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No mention of the foreign countries that had made contracts with the drug companies for certain amount of vaccine. just wonder if they're counted in the equation
Ed Glass
EddieG Sep 23, 2020 2:12PM ET
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I am NOT taking it unless I have too. Anything coming out of of CDC, not trusted. I sure my work will make it mandatory.
Uwaheren Suleman
Uwaheren Suleman Sep 23, 2020 1:16PM ET
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hello
 
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