Tennessee will be ready for COVID-19 vaccine distribution by Dec. 1, health commissioner says

Gov. Bill Lee gives update on Tennessee's COVID-19 response (Nov. 17)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee gave his first COVID-19 briefing in several weeks as the state’s battle with the virus rages on.

The Tennessee Department of Health reported 1,841 more cases Tuesday -- a day after setting a new daily case record with nearly 8,000 cases.

Earlier Tuesday, Tennessee was chosen as one of four states to test distribution of a potential COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer. Last week, the company said preliminary data shows the vaccine is more than 90-percent effective.

“Pfizer selected our state because of our (vaccine distribution) plan, because of our ability to build out a strong infrastructure, and we’re thankful for that partnership and what it means to Tennessee," said Lee.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said Pfizer and Moderna are expected to submit their vaccines for final approval from the Federal Drug Administration within the month, and Tennessee is planning to be ready for distribution by Dec. 1.

Piercey said supplies will initially be limited, going first to first responders, health care workers and people who are immunocompromised. Widespread availability is expected in spring 2021.

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