CORONAVIRUS

When could Americans get Covid vaccines in the US according to the CDC?

Debate rages on in the US over a vaccine date after President Donald Trump has said a vaccine could be available before the election November 3, and on Wednesday he said a vaccine could be released by mid-October.

When could Americans get Covid vaccines in the US according to the CDC?
ANDREW HARNIK AFP

Donald Trump predicted on Wednesday that at least 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine could be distributed in by the end of 2020 with the president's claim contradicting a top government health official Trump dismissed as confused.

Hours earlier, Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a vaccine could be broadly rolled out by the middle of next year or a little later.

"No I think he made a mistake when he said that," Trump said, telling reporters he called Redfield. "That's incorrect information. "I believe he was confused. I think he just misunderstood the question, probably."

State panel testimony

Redfield, head of the federal government's disease control agency, made his comments in testimony before a U.S. Senate panel.

He said general availability of a vaccine could come by "late second quarter, third quarter 2021." A vaccine could be ready as soon as this November or December, Redfield said, adding that limited first doses could go to those who were most vulnerable. But "in order to have enough of us immunized to have immunity, I think it’s going to take six to nine months," he added.

CDC clarification

A CDC spokesman said in a statement that Redfield was answering a question he thought was in regard to the time period in which all Americans would have completed their Covid vaccination, and his estimate was by the second or third quarter of 2021.

"He was not referring to the time period when Covid-19 vaccine doses would be made available to all Americans," the spokesman said.

In a later statement, Redfield said that he believes in the "importance of vaccines and the importance in particular of a Covid-19 vaccine."