MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As a COVID vaccine becomes more realistic, officials are starting to plan distribution, who is getting the vaccine, and how to get it out.
In Tennessee, logistics experts have been planning this for months. Officials said getting millions of vaccines out would not be an easy task, but the state of tennessee already has a plan in place.
Monday’s news about Pfizer’s vaccine trials offers both great anticipation and high anxiety. But elected officials, working behind the scenes, believe they have a plan to meet expectations. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee told said in September, the state had started coordinating vaccine plans with the White House.
“At the request of the Trump administration, we are working to develop a distribution plan in our state,” Lee said.
Dr. Alisa Haushalter, the director of Shelby County Health Department, said they are prepared on the local level, and they are working closely with the state, to be able to administer the vaccine as soon as it is available to them
The Tennessee Department of Health has a plan for getting people across the state the vaccine.
Most of the vaccine will be distributed across all 95 Tennessee counties, but some will be kept in reserve for areas with high vulnerability and deaths.
When the vaccine is deemed safe, it will be all hands on deck.
“We also work with partnering agencies, healthcare systems and others. Anyone that is able to give injections,” Haushalter said.
Initially, only a select group of people will be eligible such as, front line health care workers, and people at higher risk of getting or dying from the virus.
“All of the studies that are currently ongoing do not include children or pregnant woman. So, in any first round or maybe second or third round, they will not be included,” Dr. Lisa Piercey, the Commissioner Tennessee Department of Health, said.
As mentioned, some of the vaccines trials are happening here in memphis, but when we contacted the doctors involved, we were told that Pfizer is asking doctors to not discuss their findings publicly.
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