US Details Plans to Distribute Free COVID-19 Vaccine to Healthcare Providers- Health Dept.

WASHINGTON, September 16- The US government’ s plans to begin distributing 100 million doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine at no cost as early as January, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Wednesday. “CDC is drawing on its years of planning and cooperation with state and local public health partners to ensure a safe,…

WASHINGTON, September 16 (Sputnik) – The US government’s plans to begin distributing 100 million doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine at no cost as early as January, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a press release on Wednesday.

“CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is drawing on its years of planning and cooperation with state and local public health partners to ensure a safe, effective, and life-saving COVID-19 vaccine is ready to be distributed following FDA [Food and Drug Administration] approval,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in the release.

Documents attached to the release say the vaccine will be provided free of charge to healthcare providers, who can have costs to administer the shot reimbursed by the government. A system is now in place that makes free flu shots available at pharmacies throughout the United States.

The documents detail plans to make the vaccine available to state, tribal, territorial and local partners, other stakeholders and the public along with an accompanying advertising campaign to convince people the vaccine is both safe and effective.

Polls indicate that up to half of those surveyed are very reluctant to take the vaccine.

Plans call for 100 million doses to be distributed as soon as the Food and Drug Administration gives emergency use authorization to begin immunizations, the release said.

The release noted that the CDC last month executed an existing contract option with McKesson Corporation to support vaccine distribution. The company distributed the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009-2010 swine flu outbreak.

The distribution strategy is part of Operation Warp Speed, an effort by HHS, the Defense Department, other federal agencies as well as private firms to accelerate development of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the release.

Advanced trials of about a half-dozen promising vaccine candidates are now underway, with companies simultaneously making hundreds of millions of doses before knowing whether their vaccines work or whether they are safe.

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