BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Pfizer’s vaccine is moving closer to distribution in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration released information on Tuesday confirming the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Hospitals in Alabama are gearing up for distribution within the next few days; UAB is preparing to receive more than 10,000 doses of the vaccine.

The first people to receive the vaccine are hospital workers and first responders; then, it will go to people who are at risk for serious complications for the virus.

Medical experts like Dr. Michael Sagg with UAB say the vaccine is coming at the right time.

“The sooner we get folks vaccinated, the sooner the curves will bend down,” Dr. Sagg said.

Dr. Sagg says to have an effective vaccine like Pfizer this soon is a miracle.

“It’s pretty much as billed. It’s effective. Up to 95%. And it appears very safe,” Dr. Sagg said.

Though Dr. Sagg says it will require people getting vaccinated to impact the pandemic.

“It’s going to take about 70-75% of all of us getting vaccinated for us to put this epidemic behind us,” Dr. Sagg said.

The State Health Department is helping with distribution to Alabama hospitals. According to Dr. Sagg, each part of the state will receive different amounts of the vaccine; depending on location and population.

Though many see this as the beginning of the end of the pandemic, Head of the Alabama Hospital Association Dr. Don Williamson says it will take time for everyone to have access to vaccines.

“Maybe in April we will begin to see protection. And hopefully…hopefully, we will be able to look back by May and look back at this as an incredibly bad nightmare,” Dr. Williamson said.

Both Williamson and Sagg urge the public to stay vigilant and not let their guard down.

“It’s going to have no effect on this outbreak. And what we have to be very careful of is that we don’t convert the light at the end of the tunnel into an oncoming train,” Dr. Williamson said.

Dr. Sagg is also encouraging people to not travel this holiday season as cases rise.

He understands this will be tough for a lot of people, but believes staying at home this year is worth it.


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