Straight talk today from the CDC: Don't expect COVID-19 vaccines to be widely available until the middle of next year.
- CDC director Robert Redfield warned Congress today that it could take six to nine months after approval to get enough people vaccinated to control the pandemic.
Why it matters: President Trump has promised a vaccine fast, but Redfield said the U.S. will struggle to distribute an eventual vaccine.
- "The time is now to get those resources out to the state, and we currently don't have those resources," Redfield told Congress.
Between the lines: Redfield offered Americans a bridge to that eventual future.
- "[F]ace masks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have."
- "[W]e have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defense."
- "I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine, because the immunogenicity might be 70%, and if I don't get an immune response, the vaccine’s not going to protect me. This face mask will."
- "I do want to keep asking the American public to take the responsibility — particularly the 18- to 25-year-olds. ... Because we haven’t got the acceptance of personal responsibility that we need for all Americans to embrace this face mask.”
Joe Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, today the vaccine approval process should be “totally transparent" and evaluated by a “board of scientists” that could give the public an unbiased opinion, AP reports.
- “I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump, and at this moment, the American people can’t, either.”
What's next: Federal agencies plus the Defense Department released a "playbook" for states today for vaccine distribution — starting by late this year — to eventually get free vaccines to any American who wants one, AP reports.
- Phase 1: Protecting health workers, other essential employees and people in vulnerable groups.
- Phases 2 and 3: Expand vaccination to the entire population.