Dr. Nate Smith stated today (June 24) at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 press conference that the “ultimate game plan” for the COVID-19 pandemic is a vaccine.
According to Smith, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting a meeting for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) today as well.
Dr. José Romero, the chief medical officer at the Arkansas Department of Health and chief of the pediatric infectious disease section at Arkansas Children’s, is the chair for the ACIP. The final agenda for the meeting scheduled the discussion on COVID-19 vaccines at 2:10 p.m. to be centered around development and landscape of candidate vaccines.
“When I left the department [to come to the press conference], they were talking about COVID-19 vaccinations so there is progress being made there,” Smith said at the press conference. “That’s not something that we are doing primarily here in Arkansas, but we are definitely a part of that, contributing to that effort.”
After the press conference, Smith told Arkansas Money & Politics that part of the conversation today with the advisory committee is to plan for when clinical trials do come to Arkansas.
“There are currently not any trials in Arkansas,” he said. “But, we are starting to have these conversations so that when they come, we will be ready to prioritize populations and see how well they work.”