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Health

Trump contradicts CDC director on vaccines: 'he was confused'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump predicted on Wednesday at least 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine could be distributed in by the end of 2020, contradicting a top government health official Trump dismissed as confused.

Hours earlier, Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said a COVID-19 vaccine could be broadly rolled out by the middle of next year or a little later.

“No I think he made a mistake when he said that,” Trump said, telling reporters he called Redfield. “That’s incorrect information. “I believe he was confused. I think he just misunderstood the question, probably.”

Redfield, head of the federal government’s disease control agency, made his comments in testimony before a U.S. Senate panel

He said general availability of a vaccine could come by “late second quarter, third quarter 2021.”

A vaccine could be ready as soon as this November or December, Redfield said, adding that limited first doses could go to those who were most vulnerable. But “in order to have enough of us immunized to have immunity, I think it’s going to take six to nine months,” he added.

Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Steve Holland; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sandra Maler and David Gregorio

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