CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told a Senate panel today that the federal government should have enough coronavirus vaccine for Americans to resume “regular life” by the third quarter of 2021, according to a report by CNBC.

Redfield said vaccinations could begin November or December of 2020 and that it could take 6 to 9 months to inoculate all Americans, the network reported.

“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 vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third … late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” Redfield told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

The Trump administration today released a plan to distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine free of charge, initially to targeted groups and more broadly as supply increases. The government is planning a phased distribution using a contract awarded to McKesson in August. The first recipients could include:

  • Healthcare personnel likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19.
  • People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including those with underlying medical conditions and people 65 years of age and older.
  • Other essential workers.

Final decisions will depend in part on the proven efficacy of the vaccines coming out of Phase 3 trials, according to an interim vaccine distribution “playbook” released today along with a distribution strategy document.