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Alabama State Health Officer: Operation Warp Speed believes coronavirus vaccine could come before year's end

Scott Harris said they're working to educate the public on the vaccine.

Posted: Nov 5, 2020 6:29 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2020 11:32 AM

During Gov. Kay Ivey's Safer at Home news conference Thursday, State Health Officer Scott Harris gave some more insight on the state's preparations for the eventual release of a coronavirus vaccine.

Harris said he had a call on Wednesday with Gen. Gus Perna, who's a part of "Operation Warp Speed" for the vaccine. He said there wasn't a ton of new information from Perna, but he confirmed some of what they've heard about the vaccine process.

Harris said Perna told them during that call that "Operation Warp Speed" hopes to have one to two vaccines available by the end of the year. Perna said he expects for Pfizer and Moderna to submit to the FDA for emergency authorization in the next two weeks. He said once that happens, the vaccines will be shipped to Alabama, but there will be additional steps before it's distributed.

"We will have vaccine pre-positioned in Alabama sitting here waiting and if when and only if it's confirmed to be effective and safe, it will be ready to go, really at a moment's notice," he said.

Harris said he expected to have already heard back from the federal government on the State Department of Health's vaccine plan so they could release it to the public.

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