Governor Jim Justice announced in more detail the introduction of vaccines to combat the spread of covid-19.
“We need to be vaccinated, and we need to be vaccinated quickly to stop this thing,” he said during a regular briefing on the state’s coronavirus response.
Justice stressed his belief that vaccination is safe – and necessary to stop the spread of the virus.
“I’ll take mine in front of everyone,” the governor said. – The vaccine must be taken.
The governor first looked at the availability of a vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and then a vaccine manufactured by Moderna in a relatively short order.
The court announced that the planned date for the first dose of Pfizer vaccine, the first vaccine approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is Tuesday, December 15th. But the governor pointed out that this date estimate is subject to FDA approval and is subject to change.
According to the latest national reports, Pfizer will have to supply half of the covid-19 vaccines originally planned for this year due to supply chain problems.
Justice did not mention this today, but announced that West Virginia plans to receive an initial distribution of about 60,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine, with a maximum order of 16,000 per week.
The Moderna vaccine – the second vaccine approved for emergency use by the FDA – is expected to be received approximately one week after the arrival of Pfizer. West Virginia plans to initially receive about 26,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, with a weekly order limit of about 3,000 to 5,000.
According to justice, the distribution of vaccines in West Virginia could increase by the end of 2020. Vaccine estimates for 2021 are not yet available.
Because the covid-19 vaccine will be available in limited quantities when it first becomes available, the vaccine will be divided into stages according to the risk of viral infection.
Justice said the state is in line with the priorities proposed by the Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the first available doses of vaccine to health workers, staff in long-term care facilities and residents, critical to community infrastructure and emergency response, public health officials and first responders. If the health workers get sick, the governor said, “We’re in real trouble.”
More than 100,000 West Virginia people fall into these categories, state officials said.
“Then it’s all just in place, whether it’s our teachers or people over a certain age,” Justice said.
The governor said his goal is to make it easy for West Virginia residents to get COVID-19 as soon as large quantities become available. If the vaccine is available in larger quantities, it will be available to the entire population.
The governor said he hoped “we can vaccinate almost everyone” by mid-March, although he underlined that it was a feeling in his own gut. Most other estimates are months longer.
“Now that’s ambitious, and that’s Jim Justice’s thinking.” It’s not necessarily the CDC’s thinking because they fill themselves up and give themselves extra time, ”he said. “But I think if we push and push hard enough, we’ll be able to come out in front of the general public and slow this thing down absolutely soon.”
The initial distribution of vaccines will be distributed to five ultra-refrigerated storage centers in West Virginia, Berkeley, Cabell, Greenbrier, Kanawha and Monongalia counties.
Justice also announced that the plan includes expanding distribution through additional West Virginia service providers. Currently, more than 500 potential sites have signed up to help distribute vaccine doses, and the governor said he is looking to enroll even more providers, pharmacies and more.
The vaccinations will require two doses – 21 days between Pfizer and 28 days between Moderna. Justice stressed the importance of giving both doses of the vaccine.
“If they only get one, immunity can’t be guaranteed in any way,” he said.
Vaccines are not interchangeable, meaning if you receive Pfizer in the first shot, you must receive Pfizer for the second shot.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have historically developed vaccines using messenger RNA or mRNA technology. A new approach to vaccines uses genetic material to trigger an immune response.
Pfizer should be stored at minus 94 degrees. According to Modern, your vaccine will remain stable at 36-46 degrees.
“This is a truly incredibly optimistic turnaround for the covid-19 epidemic,” said Clay Marsh, coronavirus response coordinator in West Virginia.