Coronavirus vaccine deliveries will soon be an option for people living in four states in the near future, according to a new announcement from Pfizer. The biopharmaceutical company said on Wednesday that its vaccine is 95% effective in preventing coronavirus, and completely safe. With the company’s plans to apply for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA “within days,” people could have access to the vaccine by this winter — and some might even have access to a vaccine delivery option.
Pfizer’s vaccine delivery pilot program will take place in Tennessee, Rhode Island, Texas, and New Mexico. People in these states won’t have any early access or special treatment when it comes to accessing the virus, but they will have some sort of delivery option. The details of the delivery option are not yet clear.
In a statement, Pfizer said, “We are hopeful that results from this vaccine delivery pilot will serve as the model for other U.S. states and international governments, as they prepare to implement effective COVID-19 vaccine programs.”
Here’s what you need to know:
When Will Coronavirus Vaccine Deliveries Begin? What’s Pfizer’s Vaccine Timeline?
According to NPR, the results for the final efficacy results of the vaccine, the third phase of this trial program, were released on Wednesday. These results revealed the 95% efficacy rate, and the safety of the vaccine, after 40,000 people participated in the phase three trial.
Joe Palca writes for NPR,
The companies’ release said they plan to file for an emergency use authorization “within days” with the FDA. Agency officials have said an outside panel of experts would meet publicly to evaluate any COVID-19 vaccine and advise the agency on whether to grant an EUA. The agency’s review process is expected to take weeks.
The companies expect to be able to make up to 50 million vaccine doses, enough for 25 million people, by the end of 2020. Next year’s production would be up to 1.3 billion doses, or enough for 650 million people.
Who Will Get Access to the Vaccines First?
On Friday, both Pfizer and BioNTech submitted to the FDA a request for emergency use authorization. Per CNN, this means that the vaccine could be available to the American people as early as mid-December. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the vast majority of Americans would be able to receive the vaccine within the next month. But it does indicate a timeline for the start of vaccine access, and therefore the start of the vaccine delivery pilot program.
There’s no official plan for which Americans would get priority access to the coronavirus vaccine. What’s more, as noted above, people in the vaccine delivery states won’t necessarily get faster access to the vaccine.
With that said, a recent proposal by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) gives an indication of who would get access to the vaccine first. In that proposal, health care workers and the medically vulnerable would receive the vaccine first. The definition of “medically vulnerable” doesn’t just include those with pre-existing health conditions in this proposal; it would also include the elderly who live in high-population areas. Homeless people and incarcerated individuals would also receive the vaccine earlier rather than later.