St. Louis area will likely receive the Pfizer version of the COVID vaccine


ST. LOUIS – In the next few weeks, health care workers in the St. Louis area will have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Most likely sometime in December, and the vaccine requires two doses, which are spaced out depending on which brand of vaccine we get,” said pediatrician Dr. Rachel Charney, a member of the regional vaccine committee.

Charney said things are still developing with the vaccine, which makes predicting all the details difficult. However, she said it appears the St. Louis area will get the vaccine produced by Pfizer and not Moderna.

“Once we vaccinate all at-risk health care workers, the next tier is looking at the most at-risk people in the population,” she said. “Those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 to try and protect them next.”

At present, Charney can’t give a timetable for when everyone else will have access to the vaccine. But once it’s ready to be administered across the metropolitan area, one hospital, unnamed right now, will store the drug.

“The vaccine we are most likely to get requires a specialized freezer. It has to be kept very cold, so that’s part of the logistics in distributing the vaccine,” she said. “We are working through that process.”

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are up for FDA authorization right now. Charney said once that happens, which is expected soon, people can learn more about what’s in the vaccine and what to expect from it.  

“A lot of us doing the planning simply don’t have all the answers because until there’s approval, until we see the data, until the vaccine is authorized, we don’t have the information we would love to give to people,” she said.

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