CDC Tells US States to be Ready for COVID-19 Vaccines by Nov. 1

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that it has informed public health officials in all 50 states and several large cities to be prepared to distribute a coronavirus vaccine by November 1, two days before the presidential election.The McClatchy news service was the first to report Wednesday that the CDC had sent out a four-page memo on August 27 for health departments to draft vaccination plans by October 1  “to coincide with the earliest possible release of COVID-19 vaccine.” The Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus crisis hearing, July 31, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington.Fauci’s take on potential vaccine
News of the CDC memo coincided with remarks made Wednesday by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who said that he is confident there will be a “safe and effective” COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year.However Fauci also said in an interview last week with Reuters news agency that “the one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an [emergency approval of a vaccine] before you have a signal of efficacy.””One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial,” he said.Other  health experts have also expressed skepticism about rolling out a vaccine before the completion of clinical trials, saying hastening its distribution to the public could pose safety risks and deepen anti-vaccination sentiments.Service unavailableSafety checks
Patricia Zettler, a former Food and Drug Administration associate chief counsel told the Washington Post this week, “I think it’s extremely critical we have rigorous evidence of safety and effectiveness supporting a vaccine before the FDA gives its okay.” Zettler is currently a law professor at Ohio State University.Some state health departments say they lack the staff, money and tools to educate people about vaccines and then to distribute, administer and track hundreds of millions of doses, according to the Associated Press.  “There is a tremendous amount of work to be done to be prepared for this vaccination program, and it will not be complete by Nov. 1,” Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of immunization education at the Immunization Action Coalition, a national vaccine education and advocacy organization in Minnesota, told the AP. “States will need more financial resources than they have now.”   Only half of Americans trust vaccine
A recent Thousands of bikers rode through the streets for the opening day of the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle rally Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, in Sturgis, S.D. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)COVID death linked to South Dakota rally
Meanwhile, a resident of the northern state of Minnesota is believed to be the first person to have died of the coronavirus after attending a huge motorcycle rally in the neighboring state of South Dakota last month.Health officials in Minnesota say the man was in his 60s and had underlying health conditions.  He was one of hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts who converged on the small town of Sturgis for 10 days, many of them also refusing to wear face masks or observe social distancing.  At least 260 new COVID-19 infections in 11 states have been tied directly to the event, according to the Washington Post.    

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