Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield says a coronavirus vaccine will start to become available in the United States "probably by the end of the second week in December."
According to Redfield, the vaccine would initially be given with priority to "nursing home residents and then some combination of health care providers and individuals at high risk for a poor outcome."
"I do think we'll have about 40 million doses of vaccine before the end of the ... year. That's enough to vaccinate 20 million people," Redfield said. "But then it will continue through January and February and hopefully by March we'll start to see vaccine available for the general public."
Redfield warned that while "it's exceptional that we have these vaccines and very exciting," people still need to practice the precautions recommended by health officials.
"I want people to be vigilant because we're turning the corner now," Redfield said. "You don't want to be the last group to end up getting COVID."
Redfield said he believes the surge of cases and hospitalizations across America is being driven by "the silent epidemic, the asymptomatic infections largely in individuals between the ages of 12 and 35."