For the latest news and information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.
The joint report by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to Congress (PDF) states that vaccines “are administered with the aim of” not incurring up-front costs for providers or out-of-pocket expenses for the vaccine recipient. ” Vaccines should be available free of charge to anyone who wants one.
The outline sets out a strategy for identifying “priority populations” in the early stages when vaccine supplies may be restricted and then ramping up until the vaccine is generally available. This process is expected to begin in January 2021 with approximately 100 million vaccine doses.
A companion document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes that “limited COVID-19 vaccine doses may be available through early November 2020 if a COVID-19 vaccine is FDA approved or cleared by that time.” However, COVID-19 vaccine supply may increase significantly in 2021. “
The coronavirus pandemic is particularly hard hit in the United States. It accounts for 4% of the world’s population but 25% of coronavirus cases and the death toll is currently over 200,000 a day. Leading U.S. Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said that the US is the hardest hit country in the world, partly because it has not been completely locked down and many people continue to travel, shop and do other activities that most people in other countries stopped doing.
Seven vaccine candidates are currently being tested in the US, three of which are nearing the terminal stage required for FDA approval. There are at least 50 vaccines in human trials around the world and dozens more are being developed. Fauci recently said that even if a vaccine or vaccines become available before the end of 2020, it may still be until the end of 2021 for the world to return to a normal state “similar to what we were in before COVID”.
In a recent Associated Press poll, one in five Americans said they would turn down oneVaccine, while nearly a third of respondents said they weren’t sure they should get one. Only about half of respondents said they would receive a vaccine if approved, which could make government efforts difficult.