MONTGOMERY, Ala. – – During Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Scott Harris, Alabama State Health Officer, said that deliveries of the vaccine to Alabama could begin soon.
“Work continues to be steady on the vaccine project, we had a great call yesterday with General Gustave Perna of Operation Warp Speed,” Harris said.
Perna was formerly the commander of the Army Command at Redstone Arsenal.
“He believes there will be one or two vaccine products available by the end of the year,” Harris said.
Approval by the Food and Drug Administration is the next step.
“They expect that Pfizer and Moderna vaccine products will submit to FDA for emergency use in the next few days or in a week or two,”; Harris said.
Once the FDA approves the emergency use of the vaccine, the vaccine will be shipped directly to Alabama, Harris said. Harris says the state health system will be ready.
“We’re going to have a vaccine in Alabama, sitting here waiting, and if, when and only if it’s confirmed to be effective and safe, the vaccine will be ready to go, real the, just need to announce a moment.
Harris is concerned about the public’s trust in the vaccine.
“Our concern is still regarding absorption,” he said. “How many people are interested and ready to be vaccinated. We are working very hard to convey messages and transparently what we think about vaccines. “
He hopes the thorough review and approval process will be carried out.
“Certainly, I think that when we finally get a product, it will be safe and it will work, and we hope to help Alabamia people understand that,” Harris said.
Alabama announced the vaccine plan on Friday afternoon. The first batch of vaccines will be targeted to healthcare workers and first responders and vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents.