WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The FDA has authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. With that authorization, millions of doses will be shipped out on December 13, some even coming to Wichita Falls.
Officials are not exactly sure when the vaccine will get here, first for healthcare workers. But they do encourage everyone to get the vaccine once it becomes publicly available.
“I’m so excited about the Pfizer vaccine. I’m kind of a fanboy,” MSU medical director Dr. Keith Williamson said.
The first shipments of the first COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be sent out across the united states on December 13th. Wichita Falls-Wichita County director of public health Lou Kreidler said about 2,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine could come to Wichita Falls before the end of the year and healthcare workers will get the first batch.
“Not only healthcare workers but nursing homes and nursing home residents are included in that. We contacted the nursing homes in our area and the majority of them are working with national pharmacy chains that will come in and vaccinate those individuals,” Kreidler said.
Williamson said he’s excited specifically for the Pfizer vaccine because the doses are given three weeks apart: one week faster than the Moderna vaccine.
Although this vaccine was approved in less than a year, Williamson said it has been thoroughly tested.
“The most common responses, side effects they’ve seen, are pain at the injection, sight, a little fever, achiness and headaches. That tells you you’ve had a good vaccine response that is going to protect you,” Williamson said.
United Regional and the North Texas State Hospital will be receiving the vaccines first and officials urge everyone to get it when it becomes available.
“It’s important that we can educate the public and have them understand that the vaccines are safe and that the vaccines really are our way back to having what we consider a normal life,” Kreidler said.
“When they started making the vaccines for Covid, they were hoping to get to an effectiveness of 70%. The 90% to 95% effectiveness that they’re finding now is absolutely amazing. As soon as I see someone with a needle who’s willing to give it to me, I’m gonna jump into that line,” Williamson said.
Operation Warp Speed delivering vaccines in record time with hopes of an end to the pandemic in mind.
Williamson said the vaccine could be available to the public in May.