Experts Dispute Likelihood Of COVID-19 Vaccine Before November

Tuesday, September 8th 2020, 6:15 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

As clinical trials continue around the world for a COVID-19 vaccine, health experts are reviewing plans of how to eventually distribute it.

"How do you prioritize it? How do you get it to the people who are most likely to benefit from the vaccine?” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU’s Chief COVID Officer.

Dr. Bratzler said academic journals are publishing papers about prioritizing who gets a vaccine first. For example, the National Academy of Sciences recently surveyed experts and received public input.

"As you might expect, they recommended the first people that might be vaccinated would be front line, first line responders, so paramedics, firefighters, doctors, nurses in emergency rooms, ICUs," said Dr. Bratzler.

Dr. Bratzler said those with underlying conditions could be next. The study looked at previous vaccination distributions for other pandemics as well.

This all comes as the CDC is telling Governor's to be prepared for the rollout of a vaccine, possibly by November.

"Honestly, at this point, I don't know if that's feasible," said Dr. Bratzler.

Oklahoma health leaders are still getting ready. Governor Kevin Stitt's office tells us, the health department has had a mass vaccination system in place since after 9/11 and will be ready to distribute a vaccine to Oklahomans when it's available. The specific details of that system will depend on the vaccine that gets approved.