How the potential COVID-19 vaccine would be distributed locally

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- According to data from John Hopkins University, this week’s COVID-19 cases have surpassed 10 million. 

Now with numbers surging across the country, including here in the Michiana community, local health official, Dr. Mark Fox, could not be happier about a potential vaccine. 

“Well the numbers are certainly much better than we were hoping for. We were really hoping for 50% effective so to have something they are quoting as 90% effective is really phenomenal news,” said Dr. Fox. 

Pfizer announced the vaccine is currently in phase 3 to ensure the vaccine candidate’s performance. Pfizer will continue the trial to a final analysis. Currently, the company expects to pass the safety milestone the third week of November when the vaccine candidate is then sent to emergency use authorization in the FDA. According to Dr. Fox, the vaccine still has many reviews to pass.   

“And they will have to continue for a period of time to assess the safety issues so from two months following your dose is kind of the typical time frame to assess for any serious after effects from the vaccine itself, so we have to cautiously optimistic about that,” said Dr. Fox. 

Dr. Fox, also addresses the vaccine distribution plan for St. Joseph County saying the Health Department is expected to have one in line at the end of the month.

“We have been asked to have a vaccine distribution in place for the end of November, but the first tier of priority is likely going to be health care workers and first responders and people on the front lines,” said Dr. Fox.

He also explains it is likely this will not be available to the general public for quite some time.

“I don’t expect there to be much of anything available to the general public even under best of circumstances really before next summer most likely,” said Dr. Fox.  

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