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A laboratory technician preparing a blood sample for a vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least spring 2021, according to Financial Times.

Why it matters: Bancel told FT that the drugmaker will not seek emergency authorization for FDA approval for its vaccine for front-line medical workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25 at the earliest.

  • He added the company would not seek FDA approval for use in the general population until late January.
  • If the vaccine is proven safe and effective, approval is unlikely to come until at least late March or early April.

What he's saying: "I think a late [first quarter], early [second quarter] approval is a reasonable timeline, based on what we know from our vaccine," Bancel said, according to FT.

The big picture: Moderna's vaccine is one of four that are currently in late-stage testing in people in the U.S.

  • The Trump administration in August announced it purchased 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.
  • The president has repeatedly claimed that a vaccine will be available for widespread distribution before the end of the year, though CDC director Robert Redfield testified to Congress that it's more likely that a vaccine won't be available until the second or third quarter of 2021.

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.