Henry County Medical Center has requested more than 1,000 doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine being developed by a New York pharmaceutical company in order to protect its front-line medical workers and staff.

Lisa Casteel, hospital CEO, said the hospital has applied for 1,200 vials of the vaccine from its maker, Pfizer.

“This is not a required immunization,” Casteel said. “It’s an immunization that’s being offered that goes to front-line healthcare workers first, then other personnel. We’re waiting to hear if they approve our application.”

Pfizer announced on Tuesday it had selected Tennessee and three other states to launch a pilot delivery program for the experimental vaccine.

The company intends to request a federal Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA, which would allow the unapproved medicine to be used during a public health emergency when no other alternatives are available.

If granted, those receiving the initial inoculations would be at-risk populations such as health care workers.

If the hospital’s request is approved, Casteel said the vaccine could arrive by mid-December.

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