US tells states to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine distribution in October


NEW YORK: According to reports published in leading international media outlets, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has asked state public health officials to prepare to distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine to high-risk groups as soon as late October.

“For the purpose of initial planning, CDC provided states with certain planning assumptions as they work on state specific plans for vaccine distribution, including possibly having limited quantities of vaccines in October and November,” a CDC spokeswoman told Reuters.

The New York Times had earlier reported that the CDC had contacted officials in all 50 states and five large cities with the planning information.

The timing of a vaccine has taken on political importance as US President Donald Trump seeks re-election in November, after committing billions of federal dollars to develop a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, which has killed more than 180,000 Americans.