On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump claimed that a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine would become available for distribution as early as next month despite comments from several of the government's top health officials.
Arguing with health officials
Trump's announcement also included that mass vaccination would follow after the treatment's approval. The Republican leader's statements undermined Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The U.S. president also said the health expert was confused with his long timeframe.
According to AP News, the president also had varying views with Redfield about the efficacy of wearing face masks. Trump has continued to recommend the use of facial covering but rarely does so himself. The Republican leader stated he would be calling the medical expert about the matter.
The CDC also sent a "playbook" to all 50 states across the country detailing how to distribute coronavirus vaccines to citizens at no cost once a treatment has been approved and is known to be safe and effective.
Redfield said during a congressional hearing that the priority of vaccine distribution would go to health care workers, first responders, and other individuals who are considered high-risk. The medical expert suggested the vaccine would be available sometime January of next year.
Inside the Senate hearing room, Redfield was seen wearing his mask at times while speaking with empathy about the importance of every individual wearing face masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus which has already taken the lives of 200,000 people in the U.S.
With evidence currently available, Redfield estimates that a vaccine would provide about a 70 percent chance of immunity. He added that face masks would more likely have a better chance of defending against the COVID-19 virus than a vaccine.
However, President Trump disagreed with the CDC director and said that a coronavirus vaccine would be several times more effective than facial covering.
Coronavirus vaccine in October
The Republican leader has previously claimed that the vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic would be available sometime in October despite contradicting timelines with several medical officials, as reported by CNBC.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr Anthony Fauci, said that while a coronavirus vaccine was conceivable by October, it would be unlikely that the United States is capable of producing a safe and effective treatment by then.
Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla, said on Sunday that Americans could expect to receive the coronavirus vaccine before the year ends. He told reporters that his company would be able to produce critical data from its late-stage trials by the end of next month that will be sent to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While the Pfizer CEO had stated that they could distribute hundreds of thousands of doses if the FDA gives their approval for the vaccine, several other candidates could be approved.
The CDC said that many of the vaccine candidates would require at least two doses given at varying intervals to fight off the virus effectively. The agency also emphasized that people have to be injected with a vaccine from a single manufacturer to avoid side effects.