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Coronavirus Vaccine: Colorado Epidemiologist Says There Are Still Questions

DENVER (CBS4) -- The Centers For Disease Control sent letters to governors across the nation -- including to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis -- telling them to have vaccine distribution sites ready by Nov. 1. The FDA has not yet approved a vaccine, and Colorado's epidemiologist says there are still a lot of questions about how it will work.

Doctor fills injection syringe with vaccine
(credit: iStock/Getty Images)

According to CBS News, the government is contracting with the company McKesson to distribute the vaccine to local health departments and doctors' offices.

The vaccine would be free to high-risk groups including healthcare workers, national security personnel, and nursing home residents.

"I would say we have a lot to learn still about reinfection," said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist, at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "We know now that that seems to be possible but I think we have a lot to learn about what that means for long term herd immunity."

UCHealth is just one Colorado facility involved in testing a vaccine. That trial involves the vaccine being developed by Moderna.

In July, we told you about a Colorado company that is building the infrastructure needed to deliver the vaccine to millions of people. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar toured Marathon Medical Corporation in Aurora. The medical equipment distribution company is amassing syringes, vials and needles as part of the Trump Administration's Operation Warped Speed.

"We expect to have high tens of millions of doses by the end of the year and then many hundreds of millions of doses early next year. We have fairy well-rehearsed methodologies of getting the vaccine out there," Azar told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun BoydS.

But Azar warned that different people may need different types of vaccines.

Polling shows many Americans are skeptical of a potential coronavirus vaccine. A recent CBS News poll shows only 30% say they would get one "as soon as possible." Many more, half of the country, say they would consider it, but would first "wait to see" what happened to others.



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