COVID-19 vaccine for U.S. public likely available in 2021, says CDC director

It will be the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021 before a COVID-19 vaccine is generally available to the American public, said Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Robert Redfield on Wednesday.

During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Redfield said he thought that there would be vaccine initially available sometime between November and December, but “very limited supply and will have to be prioritized.”

“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public, so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense released two documents Wednesday outlining detailed strategy of the U.S. government to deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people.

The documents provide a strategic distribution overview along with an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19, said the HHS.