CDC Director Says No Vaccine Most People For Another Year

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I've casually speculated that I personally wouldn't receive a coronavirus vaccine until late next year, but now we have a little more than speculation to go on.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield appeared in front of Senate Health and Human Services Subcommittee this morning where he said a vaccine will only be available for essential personnel such as health care workers when it's approved.

Most people will not receive a vaccine until around this time a year from now.

The U.S. should have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for Americans to return to “regular life” by the third quarter of next year, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. [...]

If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third ... late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” he told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

I think this will probably hold true even if former Vice President Joe Biden is elected to replace Trump.

It will take time and whole new infrastructure to safely and widely distribute hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine. There's been some speculation that even producing the number of vials we'll need to hold that many doses will be difficult and time consuming.

I've already adapted to wearing a mask whenever I leave the house and I suppose we'll be doing that for a long time to come. But that is a minor inconvenience. Having no vaccine for another year is really bad news for businesses and particularly restaurants and movie theaters or any other service that depended on large numbers of people sitting in small spaces. Restaurants will be especially vulnerable to collapse during the winter when outdoor seating is not an option.

The idea that we can limp along for another year without another large stimulus bill does not seem plausible.

  • mnpollio

    What difference does it make when we have half the population stating unequivocally that they will not take a vaccine even if it is safe. I have a friend who is a nurse and a Democrat, who has claimed right from the start that she would not take a vaccine even if it is perfect because “it would compromise her natural immunity to COVID.” I am still trying to understand how the hell she knows she has a natural immunity to COVID…and this is a nurse with decades of experience. We are screwed.

  • muselet

    I never expected a vaccine to complete Phase III trials until March–September 2021, so this doesn’t come as any kind of surprise. Rushing the development of a vaccine is foolish at best (“You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles!”).

    We all want to get back to normal, but as John August said a couple of months ago, normal is not an option.

    We’re in an uncomfortable holding pattern and will be for a while longer. That I almost reflexively put a couple of masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car whenever I leave would have seemed weird a year ago, but now it’s routine (although I have forgotten the hand sanitizer a couple of times).

    All we can do is practice patience and vote for a competent government in November.