CDC director says COVID-19 vaccine trials 'moving rapidly'

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's director Robert Redfield, MD, joined FOX 2 to talk one-on-one about where the vaccine trials for COVID-19 are at right now in the country. 

But first, Redfield addressed Detroit's decreased case rate after being hit especially hard last spring. 

"Yes, I am encouraged. As you said, Detroit was hit early, obviously, and great leadership, the mayor really stepped up and all of the people of Detroit really stepped up, and Detroit has really as a city recovered from the initial surge that happened this spring," he said. "When we do look around the country we see a consistent decline in cases. That said, we are still having over 30,000 cases a day, so that's substantial. And we are seeing a consistent decline in deaths but we're still having 500 and sometimes 1,000 deaths a day. It's still a very significant issue."

The goal is to get a vaccine ready and out there by January 2021. Redfield also talked about where a few of the trials stand right now. 

"As you know we have three vaccines right now that are already in Phase 3 trials, although the AstraZeneca vaccine trial is on hold - which is a standard thing that's done when you have an adverse event, severe adverse event," he said. "We have two more vaccines that should be in Phase 3 trials within the next four weeks. So that's really, the way I look at it, that's five shots on goal to try to see if we can get a vaccine through. It's moving rapidly."

What the ground game look like for these vaccinations to land and actually be distributed to hospitals and the public?

"We are in the process of working with the jurisdictions, including Michigan, with preparing for the potential ability to distribute this vaccine in an effective, equitable, timely way. We anticipate that this will be something that you want me to operationalize somewhere between November, December of 2020."

Who gets the vaccines first, and how many?

"We're initially not going to have 300 million doses. We were initially going to have several million doses, then maybe 10 million doses, then maybe 50 million doses, and how to make sure that vaccine gets to people who benefit the most is really one of the tasks that they have."