Hello, this is Ron Woody, Roane County Executive. I would like to take the next several minutes and talk about the forth coming vaccines and timeline of potential availability. I’ve been on three (3) information calls since Tuesday morning, and one thing we have learned is that “change continues to happen.”
Let me say everything that I will share is fluid, meaning that it is subject to change, but this is our most current information and is still important enough to share.
First, I and maybe you have been hearing that the Pfizer vaccine should be available in Tennessee in mid-December, and the Moderna will follow shortly after Pfizer. My Tuesday update was Pfizer being available December 15th and Moderna a few days or weeks later. There are a lot of logistics to these deliveries and distributions. That being said, these dates could change. In today’s call, the December 15th date slipped to December 18th.
Second and more important, the first shipments will not be available to the general public.
Third, the distribution and prioritization is still being made as I speak, and will be a phased distribution of location and priority.
From our understanding, because of the required refrigeration of the Pfizer vaccine, all of Pfizer doses will go to hospitals for first line workers.
There is also not enough of the initial distribution to vaccinate all first line workers. The first Pfizer distribution goes to 26 hospitals in 11 counties. These will not be available to the general public.
Summary: Mid-December Pfizer Vaccine First
Doses to Health Care Workers/First Responders
Not enough to vaccinate all of the medical personnel
Add to this, to be vaccinated it takes two (2) doses about 20 days apart, and we still have to vaccinate in priority nursing and assisted living facilities and other vulnerable populations which may be the shipping of Moderna which follows.
All this must take place before the general public will be served.
It could be late winter or early spring before the general population is vaccinated.
We are thankful for the vaccines which will be coming into Tennessee during December. Anyone that receives the vaccine will help in reducing the spread of the virus. The more that are vaccinated, the fewer exposures are possible. But also remember, the effects of the vaccine because of two, will not be seen recuing any spread until mid to late January.
Vaccines for the general public are several months out.