Story at a glance
- The president on Friday announced at least 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be made available before the end of the year.
- He said there will be enough doses for every American by April 2021.
- Trump’s CDC Director Robert Redfield said this week it likely wouldn’t be until the end of the second or third quarter of 2021 that a vaccine would be broadly available to the public.
President Trump on Friday said the U.S. will produce enough coronavirus vaccine doses for every American by April 2021 and at least 100 million doses before the year is out.
“Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month, and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April, and again I’ll say even at that later stage, the delivery will go as fast as it comes,” Trump told reporters during a White House press briefing on Friday.
Trump’s timeline for a widely distributed COVID-19 vaccine is at odds with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield’s more prudent estimate that a vaccine likely wouldn’t be broadly available until the second or third quarter of 2021.
“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccines to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third...late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” Redfield told lawmakers Wednesday.
He said a vaccine could be made available this year in “very limited supply.”
Trump later insisted the CDC director made a “mistake” and said that “under no circumstance will it be as late as the doctor said.” The president also said he predicted a vaccine could be made available to high risk individuals and health care workers as early as October, although Redfield and infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said it was more likely that a safe and effective vaccine wouldn’t be ready until November or December.
Trump on Friday said massive amounts of the vaccine will be delivered through the military and that the vaccine is set to be approved years ahead of schedule.
“I would say, I think I can say, years ahead of schedule what it would be if it were an administration other than this one,” he said.
Three drugmakers are currently in the midst of late-stage clinical trials. Earlier this week, the CDC announced a plan to provide the vaccine to all Americans for free once one is found to be safe and effective and approved.
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