PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Department of Health officials said the state will be ready for a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available, although it might not be available as soon as the DOH Secretary originally indicated during an Oct. 28 news briefing.
“We have a good plan to be flexible and nimble as the vaccination becomes available,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
Early in the news briefing Malsam-Rysdon said “We’re being told to be ready for our first shipment in the middle of November.”
Vaccinations of health care workers, for example, would start quickly after delivery, she said.
Later, Malsam-Rysdon clarified to say that there was optimism that a vaccination would be ready for emergency use authorization by mid-November.
Vaccine manufacturers must apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) and at least four have indicated they won’t be ready by mid-November, according multiple reports by scientific, business and general media outlets.
“The federal government has asked states to be ready as Nov. 15,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “If the vaccine shows up on our doorstep on that day it will be getting out to folks immediately. That is the direction. If it comes at the end of November we’ll still be prepared.”
Although the DOH Secretary said federal officials told the state to be ready by Nov. 15 for a vaccination, a report from one of the most aggressive manufactures in the vaccination development. Pfizer, indicated it would not be ready for any rollout in mid November.
Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer Albert Bourla said in an open letter posted on Oct. 16 on the company’s website that is company would not be applying for EUA until after the third week in November.
Here is a quote from Bourla’s letter: “So let me be clear, assuming positive data, Pfizer will apply for Emergency Authorization Use in the U.S. soon after the safety milestone is achieved in the third week of November. All the data contained in our U.S. application would be reviewed not only by the FDA’s own scientists but also by an external panel of independent experts at a publicly held meeting convened by the agency.”
Manufacturers may be able to receive an EUA from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if the vaccines and process meet certain criteria. A vaccine that receives EUA approval would then be targeted for use by health care workers and similar. The general public would not receive a vaccination most likely until at least 2021.
Malsam-Rysdon said there were several companies developing a coronavirus vaccination.
Moderna anticipates filing for an EUA in late November, according to an Oct. 16 story by Scientific America and other media reports.
Johnson and Johnson and AZN have both paused their vaccination trails in the U.S. so it’s unlikely theirs would be available this year.