Three US coronavirus vaccine candidates are undergoing the third and final phase of human testing.
In an ABC News interview on Friday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said states should prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by November 1, "just in case" one is proved safe and effective by then.
CDC Director Robert Redfield previously asked state governments and health departments to waive permit requirements to build distribution sites as early as November.
President Donald Trump is pressuring health officials to have a vaccine ready by Election Day, but Adams said an independent board was in charge of the vaccine's timeline.
In an ABC News interview on Friday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said states should prepare to distribute a coronavirus vaccine as early as November 1 "just in case" one is proved safe and effective by then.
"We've always said that we are hopeful for a vaccine by the end of this year or beginning of next year," Adams said. "That said, it's not just about having a vaccine that is safe and effective — it's about being ready to distribute it."
In a letter obtained by McClatchy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director, Robert Redfield, also asked state governments and health departments to waive permit requirements to build distribution sites as early as November.
"The normal time required to obtain these permits presents a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program," Redfield wrote in the August 27 letter.
Out of six vaccine candidates being developed in the US, three clinical trials have entered their third and final phase of human testing. US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn told the Financial Times recently that the FDA would consider an emergency use authorization — which would allow the vaccine to be used in people considered especially at risk — even before the end of phase 3 trials.
In seeking a vaccine as soon as possible, President Donald Trump has accused his own health officials of intentionally delaying a vaccine until after the 2020 election to hurt his chances. Amid reports that Trump is pressuring health officials to have a vaccine ready by Election Day, Adams told ABC News that politics could do only so much to accelerate the process since the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board determined next steps.
"What people need to understand is we have what are called data safety monitoring boards that blind the data, so it won't be possible to actually move forward unless this independent board thinks that there is good evidence that these vaccines are efficacious," Adams said.
The coronavirus has infected over 6.2 million Americans and killed more than 188,000, according to Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center.
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