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Reuters September 16, 2020 0 Comments

A COVID-19 vaccine could be broadly rolled out in the United states by the middle of next year or a little later, the head of the federal government’s disease control agency said on Wednesday.

General availability of a vaccine could come by “late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a U.

S. Congress panel.

A vaccine could be ready as soon as this November or December, Redfield said, adding that limited first doses could go to those who were most vulnerable.

“As soon as (a) vaccine gets approved or cleared, we want to be in a position to distribute it within 24 hours,” he told the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

But “in order to have enough of us immunized to have immunity, I think it’s going to take six-nine months,” he added.

Several companies are in late-stage trials and have expressed optimism, but none of the vaccines are yet proven to be effective and safe.

The federal government will allocate vaccines for each state based on the critical populations recommended first for vaccination by the U.S. CDC.

Testing also is accelerating and U.S. capacity could reach 3 million per day this month, Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the same hearing.

The capacity could scale up to as high as 135 million tests a month by October, Giroir added.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Carl O’ Donnell in New York; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Shounak Dasgupta and Maju Samuel)

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Tags: coronavirus outbreak robert redfield

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Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s sister vows Supreme Court nominee will ‘not impart her own beliefs’

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Catholic faith will not impact her decisions from the bench, her sister Megan Edwards told “The Story" Monday.

“Amy is a person of faith. She prays,” Edwards told host Martha MacCallum. “Every day, she and her family go to church together. But I think it's also important to realize that people all across America also are people of faith and also go to church. And to me, I think this is a non-issue.

“She's been very clear that she will be able to do her job and will apply the Constitution how it is," she added, "and not impart her own opinions and her own beliefs."

Discussing the backlash Barrett has received over her decision to adopt two of her seven children from Haiti, Edwards told MacCallum that family is the most important thing to her sister, who constantly expresses love to her children.

TREY GOWDY BLASTS SENATE DEMS OVER 'INCREDIBLY DISRESPECTFUL' TREATMENT OF JUDGE AMY CONEY BARRETT

“Her work life, her home life, everything is so that her children know that they are important,” she said. “She wakes up early in the morning to get her work done so that she can bake a cake for her children's birthday ... Our family is one that's huge. It's big. It's loud, but it's full of love.”

Edwards added that she feels protective of her sister due to the harsh criticsm, but added that "if anybody can handle it with poise and grace, it's Amy."

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“I think for her to have the courage to put herself out there in front of the country -- frankly, the world -- and have her own personal beliefs examined and criticized, I admire her," she said. "I mean, there's just no better person for the job.”

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