COVID vaccine could arrive in Delaware Dec. 11

WILMINGTON — The first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Delaware some time between Dec. 11 and 14, Delaware Division of Public Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said this week.

Dr. Karyl Rattay

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is meeting Dec. 10 to look at a vaccine from Pfizer and possibly another from Moderna. If the committee approves either of them, Dr. Rattay said Delaware could receive some of the vaccine the next day.

Dr. Rattay said the state is expecting about 8,000 doses a week from Pfizer and about 7,000 from Moderna once they receive FDA approval.

The first doses will go to the state’s front line medical workers who are providing care to COVID-19 patients.

For the rest of Delawareans, it could take until March for the vaccine to be widely available.

“I think we all wish it were tomorrow, but we’re anticipating we’ll probably have adequate vaccine for general population around March or so,” Dr. Rattay said. “Between the time we first get doses until then, we have a priority list of populations that we want to go through.”

The state’s vaccine-distribution plan will revolve around pharmacies, primary care providers and vaccination clinics. Dr. Rattay said the state is hoping to have drive-thru clinics to receive the vaccine, similar to its drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.

Pharmacies will distribute the vaccine just like flu shots.

“Pharmacies are going to be one of the best places for people to get their vaccine, just like they get their flu shot now,” Dr. Rattay said. “Many are in supermarkets or big box stores. They’re in everybody’s community.”

Pfizer, who worked with a German company called BioNTech, said its vaccine is 90% effective. Moderna and a third possible vaccine producer seeking FDA approval in the near future, AstraZeneca, have also shown their vaccines to be around 90% to 95% effective.

None of the current vaccine trials has shown any serious side effects. Mild side effects from the studies, according to the DPH, were sore arms, some fever. nausea or body aches.

“Not uncommon with vaccines,” Dr. Rattay said, regarding the side effects.

The doctor said the DPH was told on a Nov. 20 call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Delaware is ahead of the curve with its vaccine planning. The state is adding information regarding its rollout plan on its website at, which includes fact sheets for the public and materials for medical providers. Information on the website is also available in Spanish.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Rattay said. “We just need to be careful for a while longer.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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