The federal government unveils plans to make the coronavirus vaccine free for all Americans


The Department of Defense and federal health agencies have outlined plans for the coronovirus vaccine, including being available for free to all Americans.

According to the Associated Press, the plans turned out to be a report for Congress and a “playbook” for states and local governments. Agencies are looking into January for a possible start to a vaccination campaign, although it is possible that it could come later this year.

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“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 be vaccinated with confidence,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

In some areas of the population – such as health workers, other essential workers, and more sensitive – vaccinations will begin gradually before the final ramp for delivery to all.

According to the playbook of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccination campaign “will be much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous outbreak-related vaccination responses.”

A nurse produces a shot as a study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Modern Inc., operating in Binghamton, NY (AP Photo / Hans Pennink).

A number of vaccine candidates currently going through trials may be approved. The expectation is that for most of them people will require two doses between 21 and 28 days. Playbook encourages providers to give patients a reminder to get their second dose, first from the vaccine manufacturer itself.

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An AP poll in May showed that 20% would not receive the coronavirus vaccine and 31% were unsure. Since then, Democrats, including Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, have expressed doubts over a vaccine if one was approved in time for the November election.

President Trump said in a “Fox and Friends” interview on Tuesday that a vaccine could be approved “in a matter of weeks”.

Government officials stressed that politics would not play a role in vaccine development or availability and that any accepted vaccine would meet standards of safety and effectiveness.

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“Americans should know that the vaccine development process is being driven entirely by science and data,” Azar said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.