The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked governors and health departments to prepare to distribute a vaccine as soon as November. In a letter dated Aug. 27, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said states will soon receive permit applications from medical supply company McKesson, which HHS tapped to help distribute the vaccine. He said they may need to waive some licensing and permit requirements that could delay the process.
The deadline raised concerns among public health experts and scientists that approval of a vaccine will be politically motivated and the White House may be pressuring regulators to get a vaccine to the market ahead of the presidential election on Nov. 3.
"It has nothing to do with elections. This has to do with delivering safe, effective vaccines to the American people as quickly as possible and saving people's lives," Azar said Thursday on "CBS This Morning." "Whether it's Oct. 15, whether it's Nov. 1, whether it's Nov 15, it's all about saving lives but meeting the FDA standards of safety and efficacy."