The US government announced that if proven effective, the US will ensure that it is distributed free to all Americans.
“We are not at all reducing the regulatory rigour with which we will evaluate and hopefully approve vaccines,” Paul Mango, a senior health department official, was quoted in an AFP reported as saying.
The US has invested more than $10 billion in six vaccine projects and signed contracts guaranteeing the delivery of hundreds of millions of doses after they clear clinical trials. The vaccine doses themselves will be paid for by the government.
Payments for the doctors and clinics that administer these doses will be covered by private and public insurers, officials have said.
"We are on track to deliver hundreds of millions of doses by January 2021," he added.
Critics of President Donald Trump have expressed worries that in order to announce the availability of vaccine before elections on November 3, the administration may bypass safety precautions—Mango has denied the charge.
This week, Russia approved a vaccine even before it started the last phase of clinical trials. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), compared Russia's vaccine, dubbed as "Sputnik V" to a game of "Russian roulette."
"I hope that the Russians have actually definitively proven that the vaccine is safe and effective, but I seriously doubt that they've done that," top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said.