Tennessee ready to distribute COVID-19 vaccine within 24 to 48 hours of approval by FDA

Posted at 7:09 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 20:09:09-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed in Tennessee in just 24 to 48 hours after approval from FDA, a top Tennessee Department of Health official said.

At a media briefing Monday morning, Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner of TDH, said Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trial was promising for the state. Piercey was hopeful a vaccine could be ready for distribution this year.

"We know that the only effective way to achieve herd immunity is through an effective vaccine. We got some really good news this morning from Pfizer that their vaccine is shortly to come and that it's highly effective. Even more so than they have initially anticipated," said Dr. Piercey.

She also said there could be statewide distribution within days following the FDA's approval of the vaccine.

"We have been working diligently on a distribution plan," said Piercey. "As soon as we get the word that it's coming we're ready to deploy it."

News of the vaccine comes at a time when COVID-19 cases are reaching peak levels in the state. Dr. Piercey said she believes the spike will eclipse previous increases the state has seen since March.

She suggests caution when going into the holidays gathering with friends and family.