Leslie Campbell, Pottawatomie County health director, spoke to KMAN Wednesday about the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine operation.
While the goal of the operation, known as Operation Warp Speed, is to have the first what will eventually be about 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses available by January of 2021, local residents may not have access right away.
“So much will go to each state and then will trickle down to the counties and different territories depending on what is available,” Campbell said.
Who is able to receive the first doses will also vary and could be based on demographics such as age groups or those who have compromised immune systems.
While the federal government continues to aim for a January deadline, people probably should not expect social distancing and face mask policies to go away anytime soon.
According to Campbell, these policies could remain in place for several months after a vaccine becomes available.
This is in part due to the likelihood of the vaccine being a two-dose series, meaning patients will have to receive two doses of the vaccine to be fully immunized. The second dose could occur 21 to 28 days after the first dose.
Campbell also addressed the concern that the government may compromise the vaccine’s safety in order to speed up production.
She says she doesn’t believe the government would do that in this situation.
“I do know that they’re trying to do everything that they can to look at those items,” Campbell said. “They suspended some vaccine phases a couple of weeks ago because of an adverse reaction and then they started it again after they looked through the research.”
The vaccine is likely to be a two-dose series, meaning patients will have to receive two doses of the vaccine to be fully immunized.