Covid-19 vaccine will be free to Americans, federal government reveals

Vaccine will require two doses several weeks apart

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Vaccine being prepared
Vaccine being prepared
(Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
Updated: September 16, 2020 - 4:50pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The federal government released plans Wednesday on the Covid-19 vaccine that calls for all Americans having access to the drug at no cost.

Vaccine developments are still underway.  However, assuming a safe and effective option is created, the plans will be implemented as outlined. 

Several vaccines are in later-stage trials, with some expectations one will get approval before the end of the year.

The report to Congress and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention interim “playbook” were written by federal health agencies and the Department of Defense. The vaccine distribution is likely to begin in January 2021 or earlier depending on how the final stages of development go. 

“We are working closely with our state and local public health partners ... to ensure that Americans can receive the vaccine as soon as possible and vaccinate with confidence,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

The CDC wrote in the playbook that Covid-19 “is much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous outbreak-related vaccination responses.”

Widespread availability will take months with high risk groups having access to the immunization first. Most vaccines will require two doses 21 to 28 days apart.

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