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The Timing of a Vaccine

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told a Senate panel that a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine isn't likely to be generally available to the public until the third quarter of 2021, CNBC reports.

Redfield said that vaccinations would likely begin in a limited fashion in November or December, going first to, for instance, healthcare workers and others at increased risk, and that it would then take another six to nine months for the general public to be vaccinated, CNBC adds. 

However, Redfield's comments drew criticism from President Donald Trump who said widespread distribution of a coronavirus vaccine would begin by the end of the year, NPR reports, noting that Trump called Redfield mistaken or said he "misunderstood" the questions. The CDC then walked back part of Redfield's statement, saying that he meant that the public would have completed their vaccinations by the third quarter of 2021, CNBC adds.

The CDC also issued guidelines giving state and other local jurisdiction advice on how to prepare for distributing a vaccine, according to Guardian, though it calls the guidelines "impressionistic." CNBC adds the CDC plan expects a vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization prior to a full approval and that the government expects to transport the vaccine to distribution sites within 24 hours of that EUA.

As CNBC notes, though there are a few SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in late-stage trials, none has been approved.