Dr. Khaldun: Michigan is ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccine when it's approved

Posted at 4:02 PM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 16:02:54-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan's chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said that she trusts the vaccine process being moved forward by the FDA.

Speaking at a press conference with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday afternoon, Khadlun talked about the two vaccines that have shown promise in phase 3 clinical trials – Moderna's vaccine and Pfizer's vaccine.

Related: Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine candidate is 94.5% effective

"I can tell you that I have reviewed and I do trust the process that is moving forward by the FDA," Khaldun said. "A group of accomplished public health and medical experts will have to review the data and the science around the vaccines before it is made available."

Related: Pfizer & BioNTech say final analysis shows coronavirus vaccine is 95% effective with no safety concerns

Khaldun said once either or both of the vaccines are approved by the CDC, the state is ready to oversee the distribution of them and will work with hospitals, local health departments and community partners.

According to Khaldun, there will be limitations on the vaccine, especially in the beginning, and a certain group of people will get it first. That includes critical workers like those in hospitals, first responders, and "those who are most vulnerable to severe illness."

"Only if the data and science and national experts tell us the vaccine is safe will we be distributing it in Michigan," she said.

Khadlun also said that there are systems in place when the vaccine is out in the public that if there are any reactions, they are appropriately tracked and reported.

"It will likely be well into the spring before the general population has access to the vaccine," Khaldun said.

That's why people should focus on continuing to wear masks and keep 6-feet of distance to bring the curve back down, Khaldun said.

Moderna said this week that its vaccine is 94.5% effective in phase 3 trials, while Pfizer said its was 95% effective with no safety concerns.

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