Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told Fox News Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine is going to begin availability for Americans by the second week of December. It will be distributed in a “hierarchical way,” with nursing home residents, healthcare providers and high-risk individuals being in line for the shots.

“I do think we’ll have about 40 million doses of vaccine before the end of the … year,” Redfield told Fox News host Dana Perino. “That’s enough to vaccinate 20 million people. 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 even sounded optimistic at times during the television interview. He said it’s important to continue social distancing and other safety precautions like mask wearing, but he also said better days are ahead. “I want people to be vigilant because we’re turning the corner now,” he said. “You don’t want to be the last group to end up getting COVID.”

Redfield had another early Christmas present to deliver, saying the time needed to quarantine if someone has been exposed to the virus will shorten from 14 days to between seven and 10 days. “We do think that the work that we’ve done, and some of the studies we have and the modeling data that we have, shows that we can, with testing, shorten quarantines,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

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