WASHINGTON (AP & CSi) — The federal government is outlining a sweeping plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available for free to all Americans.

A top health official cautioned that widespread vaccination is unlikely until into 2021. The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Senate lawmakers that any vaccine available this year will be reserved for the most critical populations, including high risk individuals, first responders, essential workers such as those in healthcare.

The Trump administration has its own timeline that a vaccine could be broadly available within weeks.  During a Sept 16 news conference, it was stated that 700 million doses are estimated to be distributed by end of March 2021,  with the first prioritized distribution of vaccines as early as late October or November; the time frame based on final results and approval.   Distribution plans have already been prepared waiting for final approval.