Dr. Kristina Box with the Indiana State Department of Health said Wednesday that the State of Indiana has been told to expect its first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by late-November.
"We have been told by the federal vaccine coordinators to expect some doses of the first vaccine by late-November," Dr. Box explained on Wednesday. "And possibly a shipment of the second vaccine in mid-December."
According to Dr. Box, pharmaceutical company Pfizer may be the supplier of the first vaccine to the state.
"We believe that the first vaccine that will come out will be Pfizer's vaccine, which is a two-dose vaccine, and it is ultra-low storage - so it has to be stored at minus-70 degrees," Dr. Box explained.
She says that the second shipment of vaccines, which the state could see in December, would be from biotechnology company Moderna.
Dr. Box said that although Indiana may start receiving doses of a vaccine as early as November and December, she doesn't know exactly how much the state would initially receive and expects the supply to be "limited" in the beginning.
Box explained that the vaccine plan submitted to the CDC by Indiana calls for initial doses of the vaccine to go to healthcare providers and the state's most vulnerable members of the population. Dr. Box said a team is continuing to work on the state's allocation plan to ensure the vaccine moves quickly when it arrives.
"We also have a team that will review the data to determine the populations in which the vaccine has been tested," Dr. Box added.
"This is a rapidly developing situation so a lot is subject to change, but what I want to emphasize is that this, as a widely-available vaccine available to all people of all ages, is still months away, " she continued. "So keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and practicing your social distancing - they're the best tools that we have right now."