James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
US states told to be ready for coronavirus vaccine 'by November'
3 September 2020, 13:57
The Trump administration has told US states to be prepared to receive coronavirus vaccines by 1 November - two days before voters head to the polls for the Presidential election.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notified public health officials in all 50 states and five large cities to create infrastructure to deliver a Covid-19 vaccine to health care workers and other high-risk groups.
The documents were sent to officials on the same day that US president Donald Trump told his supporters at the Republican National Convention that a vaccine could be ready before the end of the year.
The announcement is the latest in an international race for a vaccine to ease a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and infected more than 26 million worldwide.
The guidance states that its plan are hypothetical and based on the need to immediately begin a programme of mass vaccination.
The CDC plans describe a strategy for two medicines described as 'Vaccine A' and 'Vaccine B' and sets out arrangements for the shipping, mixing, storage and administration of the drug.
The details appear to match the products developed by Pfizer and Moderna, the two pharmaceutical companies furthest ahead in clinical trials.
Last month, Pfizer said it was “on track” to seek a government review of the potential vaccine “as early as October 2020.”
Several vaccine and public health experts pointed out that final stage trials of experimental vaccines are still recruiting, and are at best halfway through that process.