(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling the nation to prepare for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

The CDC has notified public health officials across all 50 states that limited vaccine doses might be available by late October, and that they should prepare now as to how the vaccine will be routed to health care workers and other high-risk groups, according to documents obtained by The New York Times. The documents outline detailed scenarios for distributing two unnamed vaccines — “Vaccine A” and “Vaccine B” — if either or both candidates demonstrate sufficient effectiveness and safety to warrant an emergency use authorization from the CDC before clinical trials are fully completed.

The CDC documents recommend that the vaccine first be given to health care professionals and essential workers, followed by people involved in national security and individuals living or working in long-term care facilities. People aged 65 or older, those at increased risk for severe illness, people attending colleges or universities, and Americans serving time in prison or living in homeless shelters are also earmarked as critical populations that should receive early vaccination.

States should plan now for real-time shipment of the vaccine, which would be free but potentially subject to some administration fees, the documents noted. People will likely need two doses of the vaccine, given three to four weeks apart, to achieve immunity, the agency said. The documents also put forth a schedule of assumed availability of both vaccine candidates, should either qualify for emergency use: Vaccine A could have around 2 million doses available by the end of October and as many as 30 million by year’s end; Vaccine B could have around 1 million doses available by the end of October and as many as 15 million by the end of the year.

The three documents went out on Aug. 27 to all 50 states as well as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, and San Antonio, The Times reported.

The New York Times Article

Related Articles