Donald Trump has made headlines once again. This time round, it is because of the delivery timeframe for the COVID-19 vaccine. Although many would be glad at the sight of an imminently approaching vaccine to beat COVID-19, the forecast made by Trump contradicts with that made by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr Robert Redfield, the CDC Director stated that the earliest that the United States can bring the vaccine to market would be November or December. This is also combined with the fact that vaccines would be limited at first.
On the other hand, Donald Trump said that he expected the United States to have a vaccine for each American by April. Together with this, Donald Trump’s ambitious stance can be seen by the fact that he expects the United States to manufacture a hundred million COVID-19 vaccines by this year and that hundreds of millions of doses will be made every month.
Whilst Trump is pushing to have a vaccine ready for each American citizen by April, the CDC Director expressed that this would not be the case until summer or the third quarter of the coming year. In terms of distribution, Trump stated that significant amounts of the vaccine will be distributed through the United States military.
There is a sense of optimism that the vaccine will be available soon. Trump also states that had other administrations been in charge of the country, they would not have made such progress in such little time.
Donald Trump also stated that the COVID-19 vaccine can be made available even by this October. When asked about Reinfield’s comments, he dubbed them as mistaken and that the vaccine will be rolled out immediately once approved.
A draft plan for vaccine distribution was prepared by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The vaccine would be given first to health-care workers, elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. These would then be followed by essential workers, teachers and those in homeless shelters. Next in line would be people in prison, children and young adults.
Together with the availability of vaccine doses, there are also logistical considerations, such as the setting up of vaccine centres and the acquisition of enough needles, syringes and bottles.
Whilst a speedy vaccine is on everyone’s mind, there are some concerns that it is being rushed. Although the end of year timeline seems to be an increasingly realistic possibility, we must also address another matter and that would be the effectiveness of the vaccine. Only time will shed light on the true impact of this vaccine and its capacity to keep COVID-19 at bay.