MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In light of the possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine next month, the state health department has more details on how it will be released.
The Alabama Department of Public Health says health care providers and the chronically ill could receive the vaccine as soon as mid-December.
ADPH says large amounts of vaccine from different companies have already been produced and stored while clinical trials are ongoing. The vaccine stockpile is strong protection, including armed guards, according to health officials.
The federal government will allocate initial vaccine supplies to states and jurisdictions.
State health leaders expect the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take about two weeks to review vaccine products. After the FDA review, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will study the data and make recommendations.
After the FDA confirms a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and when an Emergency Use Authorization is received, vaccine kits are expected to be shipped to several locations statewide and prepositioned to provide immunizations in Alabama.
ADPH is following a three-phased COVID-19 vaccine plan announced earlier this month.
ADPH is continuing to enroll community partners in its statewide population-based immunization electronic registry system, ImmPRINT to provide the vaccine. These include private sector partners such as medical facilities and health care providers who will administer the vaccine.
According to ADPH, all Americans can receive their initial vaccine treatment without any charge, including those without health insurance. State Health Officer Scott Harris and U.S. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, emphasized that the goal is for everyone to have access to the free vaccine regardless of their financial status or location.
Distribution of the vaccine will be made equitably to those most at risk, the chronically ill and seniors in all 67 Alabama counties.
Health care workers and first responders will be the first to receive the vaccine.
A new proprietary software program called Tiberius links databases that track every COVID-19 vaccine dose from manufacture to patient inoculation.
Most vaccine candidates require patients to receive two doses at a certain time interval apart.
The stated goal of Operation Warp Speed is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.
Click here for more Alabama COVID-19 vaccine information from ADPH.
Vaccine testing from Pfizer and Moderna have shown positive results with high effectiveness rates.