The Department of Defense and federal health officials have outlined plans for a coronavirus vaccine, including free availability to all Americans.
The plans came in the form of a report to Congress and a “playbook” for states and local governments, according to the Associated Press. The agencies are looking for a possible start of a vaccination campaign in January, although it is still possible that it could happen later this year.
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“We are working closely with our state and local public health partners to ensure Americans receive the vaccine as soon as possible and can vaccinate with confidence,”
For some populations – such as health workers, other key workers and the more vulnerable – vaccinations would start gradually before finally being distributed to anyone who so wishes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Playbook, the vaccination campaign will “be much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous vaccine-related reactions to outbreaks.”
Several vaccine candidates currently in trials could potentially be approved. The expectation is that most of them will take two doses 21 to 28 days apart. The game book encourages providers to remind patients to get their second dose, which must be from the same vaccine manufacturer as the first.
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An AP poll in May found that 20% would not get a coronavirus vaccine and 31% were unsure. Since then, Democrats, including Vice-Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Have expressed skepticism about a vaccine if one is approved in time for the November election.
President Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that a vaccine could be approved “in a few weeks”.
Government officials have insisted that politics play no role in vaccine development or availability, and that any vaccine approved meets standards for safety and effectiveness.
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“Americans should know that the vaccine development process is completely driven by science and data,” Azar said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.