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State Health Officer explains coronavirus vaccine most likely won't be available for pregnant women, children

Vaccines could be available as soon as mid-December.

Posted: Nov 18, 2020 7:11 PM

WAAY 31 talked to the State Health Officer about the coronavirus vaccine now that both Pfizer and Moderna have said their trials show their vaccines are more than 90% effective.

Dr. Scott Harris said they've learned from the CDC that once a vaccine is approved, the allocation will be based on per capita population. He believes that means Alabama will receive a few hundred thousand doses at first. That means not all health care workers will be able to get it immediately.

"We have within that group of health care workers, prioritization as well. As well as for those people who are most at risk. Those people working on actual COVID units taking care of patients, those people doing aerosol generating procedures that put them at higher risk," he said.

Harris said he's working with the federal government and the CDC to prepare the state to receive doses of the coronavirus vaccine as early as the middle of December. This week, Moderna and Pfizer have both released that their vaccine trials are showing about a 95% effectiveness rate in people participating. 

"I don't think we really know exactly what they mean when they talk about 95% effectiveness. Most vaccines aren't nearly that effective. We have some like the measles vaccines that are highly effective in the high 90% for people who complete the series. But compare that to the flu vaccine in which in a good year is maybe 50% effective," Harris said.

He explained once the CDC and an advisory board review that data during the emergency authorization process, it will help bring greater understanding. He said like any other vaccine, these will not be cures for the virus.

"As the vaccine comes out, we don't want the public to suddenly say everything is fine. We are not going to have enough for several months and we need to continue to ask people to be safe," he said.

Harris also explained children and pregnant women most likely won't be eligible for either of the vaccinations currently being widely discussed.

"We know for a fact that none of the trials so far have recruited enough children or pregnant women that there is going to be any approval for children or pregnant women to receive the vaccine. Ultimately, the FDA and the advisory committee are going to make that determination," he said.

Karen Landers, Madison County Health Officer, who is also a pediatrician, said she and the American Academy of Pediatrics are asking that the vaccine trials for children get moved along so that there is a vaccine available for them as well.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 712406

Reported Deaths: 9162
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby792151211
Davidson73395716
Knox40479455
Hamilton36114353
Rutherford34354299
Unassigned23968147
Williamson22359154
Sumner18891245
Out of TN1653784
Montgomery15282156
Wilson14907170
Sullivan13036229
Blount12443136
Washington12236209
Maury11346133
Bradley11329104
Sevier10910128
Putnam10222153
Madison9387188
Robertson795288
Hamblen7286128
Anderson7054116
Greene6790120
Tipton640975
Coffee579088
Gibson5777118
Dickson560285
Cumberland557079
Bedford547895
Roane537585
McMinn526874
Lawrence525870
Carter5229124
Loudon512755
Warren511659
Jefferson499478
Dyer488587
Monroe472865
Hawkins462477
Franklin427768
Fayette416753
Obion407686
Rhea392858
Lincoln388549
Cocke360666
Marshall358541
Cheatham351232
Weakley347350
Campbell339842
Henderson339262
Giles335776
Carroll319062
White318350
Hardeman316755
Hardin307551
Lauderdale300635
Macon296354
Henry270761
Wayne270425
Overton260646
McNairy250144
DeKalb248545
Haywood245651
Marion237034
Smith235830
Claiborne231834
Trousdale231017
Scott230932
Hickman230337
Grainger218241
Fentress218036
Johnson205835
Morgan197417
Crockett184139
Chester179539
Bledsoe178811
Unicoi170347
Cannon162223
Lake158522
Polk151417
Decatur149028
Union146525
Grundy144222
Sequatchie143020
Humphreys138117
Benton134435
Lewis131321
Meigs119817
Stewart112621
Jackson107024
Clay96926
Perry96725
Houston95126
Moore8359
Pickett69221
Van Buren6769
Hancock4267

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