CAPITAL REGION, NY (NEWS10) – What would the coronavirus vaccine rollout look like for the Capital Region? NEWS10 ABC’s Anya Tucker spoke to two experts to get a feel for what this could mean.
Dr Eli Rosenberg is Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Albany. He is also an advisor to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Vaccine Distribution and Implementation Working Group. He is keeping an eye on drugmaker Pfizer following news of a COVID-19 vaccine that is said to be 90% effective.
Anya: “What do you think a deployment will look like for people here in the Capital Region? And when?”
Dr. Rosenberg: “They [Pfizer] are considering an application for FDA approval later this month and that they will have enough safety data to apply for emergency clearance by the end of November. So we might see a vaccine approved by Pfizer by the end of this year. “
But don’t get too excited. If the vaccine is approved, Pfizer said they could only produce between 15 and 20 million doses for the entire United States before the end of this year, limiting immediate supply.
And there are other challenges.
Like transportation. The vaccine should be kept very cold (-90 degrees F), and special freezers may be difficult to find for some communities.
Then there is the human factor.
“Overcome what we call ‘vaccine hesitancy,” said Dr Rosenberg. “A lot of people have questions or real reasons for mistrust that we need to educate and overcome.”
And even though people roll up their sleeves for a shot, infectious disease specialists like Dr Arthur Gran say they need to come back for a second dose.
“I don’t think that would discourage people from recommending this vaccine. I think there are a lot of people out there who want to get it, ”Gran said.
And most will have to wait for a shot anyway before the heroes working on the front lines get the vaccine.
In the meantime, Dr Gran says, “We must always take the greatest possible precautions. Including wearing masks and social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. Everything we have done in the past two months.