Nash. health Task Force member calls November COVID-19 vaccine release 'scientifically unfeasible'

Sep 4, 2020

Dr. James Hildreth
Credit Nash. Dept. Health

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Tennessee officials are reportedly preparing to begin distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine as early as November, but a member of Nashville’s Coronavirus Task Force calls such an early release date “premature.”

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey told reporters Thursday she’s been told by federal officials Tennessee could receive a few hundred-thousand doses of coronavirus vaccine in November.

When a reporter questioned the wisdom of distributing vaccines that had begun human trials just last month, Piercey acknowledged such a quick release would be unusual. She said that the pandemic had forced authorities to balance a rapid response against vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Dr. Piercey and Gov. Bill Lee both stressed that Tennesseans would need to make a “personal choice” about taking a new coronavirus vaccine in consultation with their personal physician.

Meharry Medical College President Dr. James Hildreth had a very different reaction to the possibility of a November vaccine distribution. Dr. Hildreth is an infectious disease expert and a leading member of Metro’s health emergency task force.

In an interview with Yahoo News this week, Dr. Hildreth called such an early vaccine release date “premature” and “scientifically unfeasible.”

Meharry Medical College is overseeing one of two COIVD-19 vaccine trails being conducted in Nashville.