DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Within a matter of days, Pfizer says it will ask the FDA to grant emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine. An advisory committee of outside experts will review data and hold public meetings to make a recommendation.
CNN has reported the FDA is scheduling those meetings for the second week of December. Approval could quickly follow.
“I have not been more excited in these 8 months,” said Dr. Joseph Chang, the chief medical officer at Parkland Hospital.
The hospital, he says, is already in talks with the state to be a distribution center for the vaccine. “The other part of this is getting it to everyone. That’s going to be a challenge,” said Dr. Chang. “The vaccine is great but I can’t give it to everyone right away.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services says more than 3,000 providers have signed up to receive and administer COVID vaccines — 725 of them are in North Texas. They include doctors’ offices, pharmacies, hospitals, health, nursing homes, and other medical providers.
“It’s not going to be bang everybody gets it in two weeks or even two months, so it’s going to be a gradual process,” said Chris Van Deusen, a DSHS spokesperson for DSHS.
The U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention will decide how many doses of a vaccine go to Texas.
DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, with input from a committee of experts, will decide where in Texas they go and for whom.
“At first, it’s going to be places like hospitals, so they can vaccinate their staff,” said Van Deusen.
High risk populations, like those over the age of 65 and people with pre-existing conditions, will be prioritized. Eventually, the vaccine should be available to the general public at no cost through their local doctor’s office or pharmacy.
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