TAMPA, Fla. - The president said he has a different opinion about the timeline of a potential COVID-19 vaccine than the guidance given by the director of the Centers for Disease Control, Robert Redfield.
The CDC director told Senators Wednesday morning, "I think we're probably looking at third, late second quarter, third quarter, 2021."
Hours later, during an early evening news conference, President Donald Trump said he spoke to Redfield and thinks, "he made a mistake when he said that, just incorrect information."
The president and his administration insist the US's distribution plan will be ready as soon as a vaccine is ready, and the goal is to have 100 million doses by the end of the year, starting with distribution to the most vulnerable.
The president said they're hoping for October and that the military is going to be in charge of distribution logistics.
The dean of health policy at the University of South Florida Dr. Jay Wolfson says the US has never undertaken a vaccine project of this scope.
He says tens of millions of vials would have to be produced, then sent to the right places. Then each person would need to receive two doses, given over a certain time period.
"There is going to have to be a national, integrated database that links all the states together so that every single person, getting every single vaccine is accounted for," Wolfson explained.
Further, he says it's likely different vaccines will be approved for different groups: the high-risk, low-risk, the younger and older.
"You watch [them] very carefully," he said. "The biggest challenge is what happens one month, three months, six months, nine, months, 12 months or three years after somebody gets the vaccine," Wolfson said.
In the meantime, the CDC director urged people to wear masks.
"These facemasks are the most important, powerful public health tool we have," Redfield said.
The White House has urged states to prepare distribution plans.