CDC Asks Governors to Be Prepared for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution by Nov. 1

CDC asks states to expedite permit applications or waive requirements so vaccine distribution facilities are “fully operational” by November

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sent a letter to state governors last week “urgently” asking that they expedite permit applications or waive requirements to allow COVID-19 vaccine distribution facilities to be fully operational by Nov. 1, a CDC spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap.

The letter, which was first reported by McClatchy on Wednesday, said that the CDC had contracted with McKesson Corporation to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines but needed the help of state governors to ensure that McKesson can “quickly open new distribution centers” that are “fully operational by November 1, 2020.”

“CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by November 1, 2020,” Redfield wrote. “The requirements you may be asked to waive in order to expedite vaccine distribution will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed.”

The New York Times also reported on Wednesday that the CDC had sent three documents to public health officials in all 50 states last week on how to prepare for vaccine distribution in late October or early November for two different vaccines — identified only as “Vaccine A” and “Vaccine B.” One of the documents said that “limited” doses “may be available” by early November, while another document said that health-care professionals and other essential workers, people aged 65 and older, those from “racial and ethnic minority populations” and people living in group settings — including those who are incarcerated, experiencing homelessness or at college — would be prioritized to receive the vaccine.