Sep 2, 2020 - Health

CDC requests states ready COVID-19 vaccine distribution by November

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC director Robert Redfield. Photo: Erin Scott/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week "urgently" requested governors to speed up their permit applications so vaccine distribution sites are operational by early November, McClatchy reports.

Why it matters: When a vaccine is ready, distribution is a major challenge the Trump administration is working to address. Supplies will be limited initially, and even if the most at-risk populations are given priority, that group still numbers in the tens of millions.

What they're saying: “The normal time required to obtain these permits presents a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program," according to a letter from CDC director Robert Redfield to state governors.

  • "CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020.”

The big picture: Several vaccines have already begun phase 3 trials. The U.S. has contracts in place to purchase hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine if any are successful.

What to watch: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said earlier this week he would be willing to fast-track the vaccine approval process with an emergency use authorization before phase 3 trials are over.

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