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The federal government has urged states to prepare for a coronavirus vaccine to be marketed by November 1.
In a letter to the governors dated Aug. 27, Robert Redfield, director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that states were “in the near future” requests for approval from McKesson Corp. who have a contract with CDC to distribute vaccines to places like state and local health departments and hospitals.
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield told governors last week to prepare for the vaccine.
“CDC urges your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, requests that you waive any requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1
, 2020,” wrote Redfield.
The CDC also sent three planning documents to some health departments with possible deadlines for vaccine availability.
ExploreCDC says to states: be ready to distribute vaccines on November 1st
The documents are intended to be used to develop plans for early vaccination when supplies may be restricted. This emerges from one of the documents that described a scenario where a vaccine could be available by the end of October.
Americans headed for Labor Day weekend amid warnings from public health experts that backyard parties, crowded bars, and other gatherings could cause the coronavirus to return.
“I really see Labor Day weekend as a critical point,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s leading infectious disease expert. “Are we going to go in the right direction and continue the downward momentum, or do we have to step back a little when we start another climb?”
Fauci says US can “significantly cut” COVID-19 numbers by election day
The spike in infections, deaths, and hospitalizations during the summer, especially in the south and west, was partially attributed to Americans’ neglect on Memorial Day and July 4th.
The landscape has improved in recent weeks, with numbers pointing in the right direction in hard-hit states like Florida, Arizona, and Texas, but there are certain risk factors that could come with Labor Day: kids going back to school, College Campus Cases are rising, college football is starting, more stores are open, and flu season is just around the corner.
And some states go on vacation with less hospital space than Memorial Day and July 4th. For example, in Alabama, about 800 people were hospitalized with the virus on July 1. In the past week it was just under 1,000.
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More beaches will be open on Labor Day than on Memorial Day, but Fauci said that in itself is nothing to worry about as long as people keep their distance.
“I’d rather see someone on a beach physically separated than someone huddled in an indoor bar,” he said.
The coronavirus outbreak is blamed for approximately 187,000 deaths and nearly 6.2 million confirmed infections in the United States, by far the highest total numbers in the world. Cases of COVID-19, which rose from around 20,000 per day to around 70,000 during the summer surge in the south, have now dropped to around 40,000.