Mississippi health officer says COVID-19 vaccine not likely to be distributed this year

Mississippi health officer says COVID-19 vaccine not likely to be distributed this year
Dr. Thomas Dobbs (Source: WLBT)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - While President Donald Trump pledged to get a coronavirus vaccine to the American people before the end of the year, Mississippi’s leading infectious disease expert said that’s not likely.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs claimed members of the Centers for Disease Control plan to have a vaccine ready for distribution by the first part of 2021.

He cautioned the biggest unknown here is how these studies and trials will go from the various pharmaceutical companies charged with creating one.

He also praised the approach taken now to try to accelerate the process.

“It has been a really innovative strategy, to try to do all steps sort of simultaneously: The research, building up the factories, making sure you can roll it out at the same time,” said Dobbs. “It’s been really remarkable to see. I don’t think there’s been any shortcuts on the safety so far, which is fantastic.”

Dobbs said many pharmaceutical companies are already into phase three trials, which involves tens of thousands of participants to test for potential side effects.

He calls that an encouraging sign they’re getting closer to their goal.

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