Are vaccines available to prevent COVID-19 as of September 18, 2020? No, that's not true: Although the race is on to find a safe and effective vaccine, none has been approved for use in the U.S.
The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on Facebook on September 15, 2020. Under the headline "COVID PARENT WARNING ALERT," the post told the story of a doctor offering a "Covid flu shot". It opened:
I had to take my son to the doctor for a ear ache this morning ... when we were done this was my conversation with the Pediatrician, NO JOKE!Doctor : would you like the kids to get the flu shotMe: (I was curious) what strain of the flu isDoctor: Covid but a very low strain of itMe: No thanks.
This is what the post looked like at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Sep 18 14:30:31 2020 UTC)
The post continued:
Doctor: they are really pushing us to push parents to get the flu shots for kids.Me: I'm not a fan of what's going on in the world and I'm not giving my children a untested Covid flu shot.Doctor: I am sure if you and I sat and talked we would have similar beliefs on what's going on.Me: then why are you pushing a vaccine that's not tested or Barely testedDoctor: Because they tell us to.Me: who tells you?Doctor: CDCWake UPand for all the is Holy DO NOT GIVE your children a Covid vaccine!!
There are currently no vaccines available for the prevention of COVID-19. The FDA is expediting clinical trials for vaccines by providing timely advice to and interactions with vaccine developers. The FDA is also supporting product development and scaling up of manufacturing capacity for high priority vaccines for COVID-19.
As part of Operation Warp Speed, we have been laying the groundwork for months to distribute and administer a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it meets FDA's gold standard. This in-depth, round-the-clock planning work with our state and local partners and trusted community organizations, especially through CDC, will ensure that Americans can receive a safe and effective vaccine in record time.