President Donald Trump said the US could get a coronavirus vaccine in October and is ready to distribute it immediately.
Trump’s prediction presents a more bullish estimate than his own health officials have publicly announced.
“We’re very close to that vaccine as you know and I think much closer than I think most people want to say,” the president said. “We think we can start some time in October. So as soon as it’s announced we’ll be able to start. That will be from mid-October on. It may be a little bit later than that,” he added.
Moreover, Trump pointed out that the US has created the necessary supplies, and health authorities can deliver at least 100 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. The Covid-19 vaccine could be given to the public starting in October or November, but he clarified, “I don’t think it’s going to be too much later than that.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Robert Redfield said at a Senate hearing that vaccinations may start in November or December, but in limited doses for those in need, such as health care workers and the elderly.
Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explained that the entire population of the US will need “six to nine months” to get vaccinated and that the U.S. would be able to resume “regular life” by the third quarter of next year.
The CDC also presented a plan Wednesday on how to make a coronavirus vaccine would be free for all Americans. According to the center, it expects the treatment to receive an emergency use authorization before complete formal approval.
Trump noted that Redfield was mistaken for saying the vaccine would not be available to the public until next summer or early fall.
“I think he made a mistake when he said that. It’s just incorrect information and I called him and he didn’t tell me that and I think he got the message maybe confused, maybe it was stated incorrectly,” Trump said. “We’re ready to go immediately as the vaccine is announced and it could be announced in October, it could be announced a little bit after October but once we go we’re ready.”
Trump believes he got the “impression” Redfield “didn’t realize” what he uttered.
“I didn’t see him say it, but if that’s what he said then it’s a mistake because … we’re ready to distribute immediately to a vast section of our country and then beyond because we want to help other countries also but we’re ready to distribute immediately,” Trump stressed.
The president also opposed Redfield’s statements that face masks could give more protections than vaccines, adding, “maybe he misunderstood” the question.
“The mask is not as important as the vaccine,” Trump noted. “As far as the mask is concerned I hope that the vaccine’s going to be a lot more beneficial than the masks because people have used the masks.”
Meanwhile, Redfield released a new statement clarifying his view on using face masks.
“I 100% believe in the importance of vaccines and the importance in particular of a COVID-19 vaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine is a thing that will get Americans back to normal everyday life,” Redfield said. “The best defense we currently have against this virus are the important mitigation efforts of wearing a mask, washing your hands, social distancing and being careful about crowds.”
Trump said at the briefing that drug manufacturers are having “tremendous success” with Covid-19 vaccines.
“The results will be early and strong. The safety has to be 100% and we’re going to insist on that and the companies are going to insist on that as well,” he noted.