MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) – The Alabama Department of Public Health expects its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine in mid-December – contingent upon the U.S. Food and Drug Administration marking it safe for Emergency Use Authorization.
The first 6.4 million doses will be delivered to states based on population sizes. State governments will decide distribution.
ADPH’s Dr. Karen Landers spoke with News 3 about Alabama’s phased distribution plan. Keep in mind, Dr. Landers says this is a fluid process very much dependent on supply. We do know the vaccine will be free and, at first, will be distributed by hospitals, some clinics, and larger pharmacies.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is slated for a December 10th review by the FDA, and if a robust review process deems it, safe doses could ship to states within 48 hours. Dr. Landers says she knows of three vaccines expected to soon be under the FDA review process for Emergency Use Authorization.
“We expect Phase 1 A will be largely focused on health care workers and first responders that have a high risk and ongoing exposure to COVID-19,” said Dr. Landers.
Phase 1B, stretching into winter 2021, includes high risk 65 and up. Phase 2 includes K-12 educators, critical workers in high-risk settings, and those incarcerated. Phase 3 includes critical infrastructure workers and young adults 18-30. Phase 4 includes the general population with a spring/summer 2021 timeline. Read Alabama COVID-19 Vaccination Allocation Plan
“The safety profile we see from these vaccines does appear to be very good overall; side effects are pain at the site of injection, some fatigue, little body aches. I am ready to take the vaccine when my opportunity becomes available, ” said Dr. Landers.
Dr. Landers is still waiting to hear if COVID recovered patients should get vaccinated and says trials are ongoing for pregnant women and children.
“The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP will provide information related to the administration and groups in terms of who should take the vaccine and who should not,” said Dr. Landers.
Next week, the Alabama Department of Public Health will begin issuing weekly updates on COVID-19 vaccines and the state’s distribution process.
So far, vaccines under review are two doses 21 or 28 days apart, depending on the maker.
For more information: Watch our full interview with Dr. Landers