In the United States, there is not yet an authorized or approved vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The federal government, through Operation Warp Speedexternal icon, has been working since the pandemic started to make one or more COVID-19 vaccines available as soon as possible. Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans for when a vaccine is available.
With the possibility of one or more COVID-19 vaccines becoming available before the end of the year, here are 8 things you need to know about where those plans currently stand. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority. The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Learn how federal partners are working together to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Many vaccines are being developed and tested, but some might be ready before others—CDC is planning for many possibilities. CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios. CDC has been in contact with your state public health department to help with your state’s planning. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments are critical to making sure vaccines are available to communities. At least at first, COVID-19 vaccines might be used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authorityexternal icon and watch a video on what an EUA is. There may be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2020, but supply will continually increase in the weeks and months that follow. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available. The plan is to have several thousand vaccination providers available, including doctors’ offices, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federally qualified health centers.
Learn about how the federal government began investing in select vaccine manufacturersexternal icon to help them increase their ability to quickly make and distribute a large amount of COVID-19 vaccine. If there is limited supply, some groups may be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first. Experts are working on how to distribute these limited vaccines in a fair, ethical, and transparent way. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) gave inputexternal icon to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which will make recommendations to the CDC director once a vaccine(s) is authorized or approved for use.
Making COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations CDC makes vaccination recommendations, including those for COVID-19 vaccines, based on input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Learn more
At first, COVID-19 vaccines may not be recommended for children. In early clinical trialsexternal icon for various COVID-19 vaccines, only non-pregnant adults participated. However, clinical trials continue to expand those recruited to participate. The groups recommended to receive the vaccines could change in the future. Cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccine providers will be able to charge administration fees for giving or administering the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Some of this content first appeared at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/8-things.html