RAPID CITY, S.D. — Vaccines for the coronavirus have been in the works for less than a year, which is not very long for a new drug to be introduced to the public.
“This is actually on a very very fast track compared to most drugs,” said Dana Darger, the Director of Pharmacy for Monument Health. “Typically it takes six to seven years to get a drug on the market in particular, vaccines are kind of touchy that way. Usually it takes several years at a minimum to get em out, so this is going through a really quick process. That’s part of the reason why it won’t have an FDA approval to start with.”
The Pfizer vaccine will be the first vaccine that is introduced to the United States and comes in two doses, which means, patients who receive this vaccine will need another dose of it 28 days after their initial shot.
Moderna is also getting ready to unveil a coronavirus vaccine to the public and their vaccine is 21 days between doses instead of 28.
“Between those two vaccines they expect between 10 and 30 million doses to be released,” So even though the vaccine isn’t approved yet, what they are doing, is they are actually manufacturing vaccines. If it doesn’t get approved they are gonna end up throwing those things out, otherwise they are ready to launch once they get their approval for it.”
Monument Health believes South Dakotan’s will have access to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine sometime in early to late December. Monument is also starting to receive medical equipment necessary to store the vaccines and figuring out how much the drug will cost.
Officials say they have the needed staff in place and are beginning to formulate plans for distribution.