The Trump administration has urged US states to get ready to distribute a potential COVID-19 vaccine by November 1, AFP reports.
Dallas-based wholesaler McKesson Corp. has a deal with the federal government and will be requesting permits to set up distribution centers when a vaccine becomes available.
"The normal time required to obtain these permits presents a significant barrier to the success of this urgent public health program," Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told states in an August 27 letter quoted by AFP.
"CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities."
Redfield asked states to consider waiving requirements that would "prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by Nov. 1, 2020."
The CDC provided states with documents giving details of a vaccine rollout plan, adding that they would either be approved as licensed vaccines or under emergency use authorization.
Recipients would probably require a second "booster" dose, a few weeks after the first, according to the documents.
"Vaccine and ancillary supplies will be procured and distributed by the federal government at no cost to enrolled COVID-19 vaccination providers," say the documents, which also went to New York City, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and San Antonio.
Priority will be given to essential workers, national security officials, seniors and members of vulnerable racial and ethnic groups, according to The New York Times.
President Donald Trump announced several weeks ago that the US government will purchase 100 million doses of Moderna’s experimental coronavirus vaccine, which is currently in late-stage human trials.
In addition to Moderna, AstraZeneca and the Pfizer/BioNTech alliance are also working on a vaccine.
Trump recently estimated that a vaccine for coronavirus may be produced ahead of the US presidential election on November 3.
The US has registered more than six million cases of COVID-19 -- almost a quarter of the global total -- and 185,000 deaths, according to Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University.