State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris released more information about the coronavirus vaccine distribution starting in Alabama.
Harris said on Wednesday that the state will most likely start receiving the Pfizer vaccine next week, as long as the FDA's emergency authorization process goes as planned.
Harris said the state should receive just under 41,000 doses of the Pfizer product.
It's a 2-dose vaccine, Harris said all 41,000 doses will be given out to phase one recipients and they will use a later shipment to give the second dose of vaccine. He said unfortunately, just because you might qualify to receive the vaccine as a front line health care worker, doesn't mean you'll be able to get it.
"There is going to be a scarcity of vaccines and that's going to continue for a while. We want people to understand that. We fully recognize there are going to be some people who are very tip top of our priority list, who are front line workers, and are deserving, but aren't going to get the vaccine on the first day," he said.
Harris said they expect for Moderna to be approved and to make its way to the state in the following week. He thinks they might get more doses of it. They're hoping it will only take a few weeks to vaccinate all of Phase 1, but it's unclear right now.
Harris did say a third of all deaths in Alabama from coronavirus are in nursing homes, and they expect the second shipment at the end of the first week to go to them.
The federal program they're using will use CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens to help distribute the vaccine to nursing home residents. A requirement of the program, he said, is for half of the state's allotment of vaccines to be given in nursing homes.