Local leaders not optimistic about vaccine being sent to Indiana soon
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.-- On Tuesday, Indiana State Health officials announced that the Federal Government could be shipping a limited number of coronavirus vaccines to the state sometime in mid to late November.
The Federal Government advising local health officials to have plans in place on how they will distribute the vaccine.
However, administering a coronavirus vaccine this soon, St. Joe County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said doesn’t seem to be realistic.
“They certainly have urged us to get planning for distribution of the vaccine in place for November, I still think that’s wildly optimistic. I think there are a number of hurdles that still have to be cleared, both in terms of FDA approval and then production and distribution,” Dr. Mark Fox said.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said during Tuesday night’s debate that he would not support a mandatory vaccine to residents when they become available.
The problem Dr. Fox has, is that he’s not convinced they’ll be available as fast as the governor says.
“When you look at the timeline for the approval of most vaccines, it’s many, many years, I mean 8 to 15 years,” Dr. Mark Fox said. “I have concerns about a compressed time frame, I have concerns about the way it’s been politicized, I hope that after next week it just becomes a moot point.”
County leaders agree and said that anyone who is anticipating rolling up their sleeves to get a COVID-19 vaccine soon shouldn’t hold their breath.
“People need to temper their expectations. That I mean if the expectation is that the vaccine is available and then the coronavirus will be eradicated is probably not likely to happen,” St. Joseph Board of Commissioners President Andy Kostielney said.
The biggest concern with the possible vaccine, Dr. Fox said is the lack of information the community has on it and its effects.
“I think it’s a complex topic. The way it’s framed is really important, I do think that we need to make sure the people have, that their expectations are managed appropriately so that they don’t feel they’re being sold a bill of goods honestly,” Dr. Fox said.
The FDA has yet to approve any of the multiple vaccine candidates undergoing trials.