It awaits approval by the FDA, CDC.
Frederick, Md (KM) The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and Moderna could be available by December 14th or the 21st. That’s according to Frederick County Health Officer Dr. Barbara Brookmyer.
During County Executive Jan Gardner’s public information briefing on Thursday, Dr Brookmyer said state and local health officials are awaiting action by the US Food and Drug Administration. “The first of the companies has submitted all of their documentation to the FDA, and we’re awaiting Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA,” she said.
In addition. Dr. Brookmyer says a committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will decide which group of people will be first in line to receive the vaccine. “They have met and they have made their recommendations for the priority groups. And now we’re waiting for the Maryland Department of Health to identify, how with the state’s allocation, they will be prioritizing,” she says.
In the beginning, the vaccine will probably be administered to health care professionals who work on the front lines battling the coronavirus; followed by people who are most susceptible to contracting COVD-19. The final priority group will be first responders.
Dr. Brookmyer says the vaccine probably won’t be available to the general public until the spring. “It won’t be mandatory, at least as far as I know,” she said. “And I don’t have any authority to make anything mandatory. People don’t need to send me letters or any correspondence. I don’t have any role in that.”
But it’s still a good idea to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “It is important for all Marylanders to be vaccinated so that we’re able to stop the spread of the virus,” says Dr.. Brookmyer. “Because if the virus doesn’t find any susceptible hosts, then like other virus, then it just disappears.”
County Executive Gardner said the county has been making preparations for the day when a vaccine would become available. “We have used our CRF money to help the hospital buy one of the ultra cold freezers so that we have that capability for the initial vaccines that require that,” she said.
CRF stands for Coronavirus Relief Funding which comes from the CARES Act which was passed by Congress in March to help the nation get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Kevin McManus