Dr. Stack says COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be readily available until Summer 2021

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The battle against the Coronavirus pandemic continues, all eyes are on when people can get a vaccine.

Monday, Doctor Steven Stack, Commissioner of the Kentucky Dept. of Public Health, says while a vaccine could be approved by the end of the year it could be the end of summer before it’s readily available.

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During Governor Beshear’s daily briefing, Stack describes there are several phases to developing one, including three phases of clinical trials that increase in size each time and if a vaccine gets past trials, there’s still final approval needed from the FDA and the CDC.

“So this is where we are right now. There are about six vaccines that are in phase two or three trials I believe in the United States that are our leading contenders to get a vaccine,” Stack said.

One of which he says could be approved by December, but that doesn’t mean it will be available to everyone all at once.

“But what we’ll do is initially have to target certain populations to get the vaccine out as quickly as possible,” he said.

Stack says most likely first responders will be at the top of the list.

“For the typical American, you’re unlikely to have access to the vaccine really until mid to late winter probably early summer,” he said.

Governor Andy Beshear following up Stack, reminding Kentuckians these are still estimates.

“We’re going to do everything to address all these logistical issues, and to make sure that everybody who’s willing to get vaccinated if it’s safe. We’ll get it just as quick as we can get it to them,” he said.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com