City Likely To Start Offering Pfizer Vaccine Next Week If It Gets Approved – CBS Kitchener

kitchener (CBS) – A COVID-19 vaccine could be available in Kitchener within a week if Pfizer’s vaccine gets emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA announced Tuesday that their first review of Pfizer’s vaccine found it to be 95% effective against the coronavirus.

The FDA will hold a debate Thursday while a panel of independent scientists will review whether the vaccine is safe and effective enough for millions of Americans to take.

Kitchener doesn’t have a fixed number of how much vaccine it will get. Kitchener Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley says the government numbers are constantly changing, but he expects tens of thousands of doses.

“If that first vaccine – the one made by Pfizer Company – gets approved later this week, we will likely have that vaccine here in Kitchener next week,” said Dr. Kitchener health commissioner Thomas Farley during a news conference Tuesday, adding that Moderna’s vaccine could potentially be approved a week later and that the vaccine could be available the following week.

The health commissioner says Kitchener will receive vaccine supplies direct from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while the state will receive and distribute supplies to other locations.

“With these two vaccines we will have limited doses and our first priority group will be health care workers who are routinely exposed to the coronavirus,” Farley said. “And we will expand the groups receiving the vaccine as more vaccines become available in the coming weeks and months.”

According to Farley, hospitals will decide who will receive the vaccine first, and they will also be responsible for administering it. Second for the vaccine are vulnerable populations and key workers.

“We won’t know how many doses we’re going to get until we actually get them,” he said.

The vaccine can’t get to Kitchener soon enough. The city is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases after Thanksgiving.

“This is an extremely dangerous time in this epidemic. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of people following safety precautions now, ”Farley said.

According to Farley, the city had a positivity rate of 12.7% last week. He also told a story about a woman in her twenties who had coronavirus symptoms the day before Thanksgiving but still saw ten of her family members on vacation. Now at least seven of her family members have tested positive for the virus.

“The epidemic affected us all. Everyone knows someone who is infected, roughly half of Kitchener residents know someone who has been hospitalized, and it’s very common for Kitchener residents to know someone who has died, “Farley said. “Unfortunately, although it was nine months ago, the epidemic is not yet in the past.”

There has also been an increase in deaths and people hospitalized with COVID. Hospitals in other parts of the state are full or congested, and Kitchener is fast catching up.

“I am concerned that all of our hospital resources have been used up,” said Farley. “Right now our biggest concern is the ability to keep the staff going. Even if you have enough beds, if you don’t have enough nurses to look after them, that’s a problem. “

Officials are pleading with people to avoid social gatherings in the upcoming holiday season, pointing out the ban on indoor gatherings in the city this new year.

More than 75,000 Kitchenerns have contracted the virus since the pandemic began. Almost 10,000 were hospitalized and more than 2,000 have died.

Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Kenney is being quarantined at home after being exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. He says he is symptom free and will be tested soon.

Stephanie Stahl of CBS3 contributed to this report.

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