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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.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.