State officials nationwide have begun announcing that initial doses of coronavirus vaccines, namely that of Pfizer, are expected in the coming weeks pending the FDA's approval.
The news coincides with a vote by a panel of independent experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday that health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be the first to receive the long-awaited coronavirus vaccine. The recommendations now must be approved by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield before the vaccine can be distributed to states and ultimately to the groups as part of the Phase 1A distribution plans. He has signaled that his approval will come after the FDA's decision.
Nevertheless, states across the nation have been releasing their preliminary rollout plans. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, for instance, on Tuesday said his state will start to receive its first share of 1.4 million doses during the week of Dec, 14, per a press release.
"The state of Texas is already prepared for the arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine, and will swiftly distribute these vaccines to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized," Abbott said in the statement. "As we await the first shipment of these vaccines, we will work with communities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19."
The vaccines will be distributed to “qualifying providers” statewide who will administer the doses based on a plan formed by a panel of experts, which includes state officials and health leaders. Initial doses will be allocated to health care and front line workers and vulnerable populations at risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
“Additional allotments may be made later this month for December. Also, increased allotments are expected in January and the following months,” per the press release.
Reports also surfaced Tuesday of officials in North Dakota announcing vaccination distribution plans. According to a local outlet, Inforum, Molly Howell, immunization program manager for the Department of Health, said the initial shipment of Pfizer’s vaccine during the week of Dec. 14 will be “extremely, extremely limited.” The first doses will go to nursing home residents and health care workers as well.
While the U.S. has yet to approve any coronavirus vaccine, the FDA plans to meet on Dec. 10 to discuss emergency approval for Pfizer’s vaccine candidate, with a meeting scheduled for one week later to discuss Moderna's vaccine.
“Pfizer's batch will come in first assuming that they get the emergency use authorization from the FDA and the independent panels that assess this. Moderna will likely come a week – literally a week later,” Murphy said. “Those are the first two up to bat, and our plan, as we've said many times, is to begin where you'd want us to begin, with health care workers, essential front line workers, vulnerable populations, and expand out from there.”
“The federal government has also informed us that New York will be getting its first 170,000 doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks, and while that is certainly welcomed news, the federal vaccination plan not only overlooks the Black, Brown and poor communities, but its data-sharing provisions will dissuade the undocumented community from getting a vaccination,” Cuomo said in a news release.
Meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom took to Twitter on Monday, writing: "VACCINE UPDATE: CA will be receiving 327,000 doses of the new Pfizer #COVID19 vaccine in mid December."
Fox News' Madeline Farber contributed to this report.