The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told states to get ready to distribute a potential coronavirus vaccine by November 1 – two days before the country’s presidential election.
The timing of a vaccine has taken on political importance as President Donald Trump seeks re-election in the world’s hardest-hit country, with some public health experts expressing concern a vaccine might be rushed through before the highly anticipated vote.
In a letter to governors dated August 27, CDC Director Robert Redfield said states “in the near future” will receive permit applications from McKesson Corp, which has a contract with the agency to distribute vaccines to places including state and local health departments and hospitals.
“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield wrote in the letter, which was first reported by McClatchy.
He wrote that any waivers will not compromise the safety or effectiveness of the vaccine.
To date, the United States has reported more than 6.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases including 863,445 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.