PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Pennsylvania's secretary of health says the state will be ready to distribute a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one is available.
Dr. Rachel Levine says she feels confident in the review process and that the FDA will only give authorization to potential vaccines against novel coronavirus when they are scientifically deemed safe and effective.
The federal government will then distribute vaccine to states. Tens of millions of doses are already being manufactured.
Dr. Levine anticipates Pfizer's vaccine could be first. It has to be stored in dry ice so those will go to healthcare facilities.
The vaccine will be voluntary and given out in phases based on risk.
"So phase one will be healthcare personnel in various different settings and vulnerable populations, phase two more vulnerable populations and then as we go into phase three the general public will be able to get the vaccine," Dr. Levine said.
But don't think just because we have a vaccine the pandemic will end immediately. It will take months to get enough people fully vaccinated to start to see spread of the virus come down.
So you'll still need your mask, good hand washing and to keep distance at least until that time.
Dr. Levine expects the vaccine to be similar to the flu vaccine, in that it's not 100 percent effective, you could still catch the virus but it can help prevent complications.
Pennsylvania's plans to distribute coronavirus vaccine
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