CDC says U.S. should have enough coronavirus vaccine doses for Americans to return to ‘regular life’ by third quarter of 2021
The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday that the U.S. should have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for Americans to return to “regular life” by the third quarter of next year. In a briefing with the Senate panel, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said he expects vaccinations to begin in November or December, but in limited quantities with those most in need getting the first doses.
“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 third … late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” he told the U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education, and related agencies.
Back in August, the U.S. government reached a $1.5 billion deal with Moderna for 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine as part of the Operation Warp Speed program. Because of the program, the drugmakers are able to develop the new vaccine at an unprecedented rate. The vaccine usually takes four to six years to complete the three trial phases.
Also, under the terms of the agreement with Moderna, the U.S. government will also have the option to purchase up to an additional 400 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna. The U.S. government has announced that consistent with its commitment to free access to COVID-19 vaccines, Americans will receive mRNA-1273 at no cost for the vaccine itself. As is customary with government-purchased vaccines, healthcare professionals could charge for the cost of administering the vaccine.