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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: 525049

Reported Deaths: 10824
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson757291498
Mobile40509800
Madison34201497
Tuscaloosa25469445
Montgomery24106574
Shelby23257245
Baldwin20815303
Lee15694167
Calhoun14391313
Morgan14183276
Etowah13728350
Marshall12043221
Houston10442280
Elmore10001202
Limestone9872149
Cullman9524191
St. Clair9519236
Lauderdale9301235
DeKalb8780184
Talladega8124174
Walker7160277
Autauga6819107
Jackson6770110
Blount6563133
Colbert6244133
Coffee5438113
Dale4780111
Russell432639
Franklin422081
Chilton4161111
Covington4090116
Tallapoosa3948149
Escambia390475
Dallas3530150
Chambers3527121
Clarke347760
Marion3083100
Pike306776
Lawrence297796
Winston273272
Bibb257362
Marengo248261
Geneva246375
Pickens233459
Barbour228956
Hale219575
Butler214368
Fayette210761
Henry188244
Cherokee183245
Randolph178841
Monroe174440
Washington166238
Macon156849
Clay150956
Crenshaw149857
Cleburne147341
Lamar139834
Lowndes138053
Wilcox125627
Bullock122340
Conecuh109828
Perry107726
Sumter103632
Coosa103128
Greene91534
Choctaw58924
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 839841

Reported Deaths: 12130
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby935471600
Davidson88371927
Knox49996626
Hamilton43575488
Rutherford42477424
Williamson27637215
Sumner23591345
Montgomery19799224
Wilson18569230
Out of TN1804895
Unassigned16945133
Sullivan16318287
Blount15240194
Bradley14701148
Washington14291244
Maury13286170
Sevier13222175
Putnam11227173
Madison10913241
Robertson9645130
Anderson8657172
Hamblen8528171
Greene7777152
Tipton7257101
Coffee6845121
Dickson6765109
Cumberland6624128
Carter6502156
Bedford6458129
Gibson6430145
McMinn640097
Roane6216103
Jefferson6098124
Loudon603869
Hawkins5841106
Lawrence583786
Monroe574995
Warren552681
Dyer5380104
Franklin510588
Fayette495576
Obion450696
Cheatham448555
Cocke445198
Lincoln432563
Rhea431875
Marshall413958
Campbell411262
Weakley404464
Giles396499
Henderson374976
Macon359077
Carroll358682
White356468
Hardin352866
Hardeman347264
Lauderdale315144
Henry313175
Marion311047
Claiborne309373
Scott306145
Overton299061
Wayne294534
Hickman281146
McNairy278554
DeKalb276553
Smith275339
Haywood268661
Grainger260049
Trousdale249322
Morgan246739
Fentress238747
Johnson234538
Chester210751
Bledsoe210311
Crockett202048
Polk200924
Unicoi196849
Cannon189731
Union187234
Grundy178434
Humphreys175722
Lake169526
Sequatchie167228
Benton163440
Decatur157739
Lewis156826
Meigs136124
Stewart131328
Jackson130935
Clay109931
Houston108833
Perry105728
Moore100317
Van Buren83823
Pickett75724
Hancock56112

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