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CDC officials say COVID vaccine for ‘general public’ not available till spring or summer

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen questioned officials on budget allocations that include funding for nursing homes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield appears at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield appears at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday.(Andrew Harnik | AP)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 4:18 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WCAX) - U.S. health officials believe a coronavirus vaccine will be available later this year, but when will the public get it?

At Wednesday’s Senate Appropriations Hearing, CDC Director Robert Redfield said the vaccine could become available in November or December, but only a limited supply. Redfield says it likely won’t be available to the general public until the second or third quarter of 2021.

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen questioned Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Health Adm. Brett Giroir on budget allocations that include funding for nursing homes.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen: When can we expect the remaining funds to be distributed?"

Adm. Brett Giroir: I can’t answer that on that specific. I don’t know when that’ll be distributed. I can say, what I can say is that I know even in the last couple of months there’s been $5-billion of extra funding for nursing homes.

Part of the money is meant to address staffing at long term care facilities and helping them hire new workers.

Shaheen asked for more flexibility on how federal funds can be used to address those needs.

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