Who gets vaccinated first? State works on the distribution plan

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The State of Utah is working out the details of the state vaccination plan. In a draft copy given to ABC4 News by the UDOH it shows how the state is currently preparing to distribute vaccine once it becomes available.

The Utah Department of Health says the plan is in draft form and items in the plan could change or be modified at any time.

In this Sept. 24, 2020, file photo, an employee manually inspects syringes of the SARS CoV-2 Vaccine for COVID-19 produced by Sinovac at its factory in Beijing. China is rapidly increasing the number of people receiving its experimental coronavirus vaccines, with a city offering one to the general public and a biotech company providing another free to students going abroad. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

Here is an overview of how the state is planning to distribute the vaccine so far.

The State of Utah is currently planning to distribute the vaccine into three phases, and within each phase are a series of waves. Think about each phase as its own book and each wave as a chapter in that book. Essentially, it all comes down to a very specific process laid out over the course of several months.

When phase 1 begins there could be limited doses available. In the first phase and the first wave, a “select number of hospitals with the highest COVID-19 response will be enrolled to conduct vaccination among their healthcare personnel (HCP) who are identified as most at-risk by their health organization system.”

Hospital workers who are most exposed to the virus will be first.

In waves 2 and 3 the current version of the plan says, “As additional doses become available, facilities receiving doses with Wave 1 will begin to receive 2nd dose shipments for vaccinated personnel. Remaining hospital facilities will be enrolled to vaccinate their healthcare personnel most at-risk.”

After that, remaining healthcare workers would receive vaccinations.

As the plan moves through the first part of phase 1 – which includes those first three waves – the second part of phase 1 begins with a new series of waves.

The first wave of phase 1b: “LTCF residents (e.g., nursing home, assisted living, independent living facility residents).”

This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the company. (Cheryl Gerber/Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson via AP)

Then the second wave: “First responders, EMS personnel, commercial and private sector partners (e.g. pharmacies, doctors’ offices, clinics).”

In wave 3 of phase 1b: “Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), Rural Health Clinics (RHC), public health clinics.

“Big chain pharmacies will receive vaccines from the federal government once the agreements are signed. They will not receive the vaccine through the UIP. Big chain pharmacies will contact LTCF to vaccinate residents. Pharmacies have teams that will go to the LTCF in urban and rural areas and vaccinate the residents”

In Phase 2 there should be enough doses to meet demand, and now the vaccine begins to be distributed through providers to the general population.

Phase 3 is when there is plenty of doses and concerns keeping vaccine ready and accessible. There is added monitoring of the virus planned in this phase.

The vaccine is not expected to be available until early next year.

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