US outlines sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield holds up his mask as he speaks at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on a "Review of Coronavirus Response Efforts" on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is outlining a sweeping plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available for free to all Americans. That’s assuming a safe and effective shot can be established, even as top government health officials face questions about political interference on government scientific information. In a report Wednesday to Congress and an accompanying “playbook” for states and localities, federal health agencies and the Defense Department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot. But an AP poll earlier this year found only about half said they would get one.