COVID-19 Vaccine plan background briefing, what to expect when the vaccine is ready

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah has made plans to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. The state gave a briefing on what is happening and what to expect when the vaccine is ready.

Rich Laken, The Immunization Program Manager, Utah Department of Health, gave the presentation.

The vaccination will be given in two doses.

For vaccination distribution, Utah has been divided into multiple jurisdictions, local health departments, health systems, Indian health facilities, statewide coordination.

Laken stated facilities with the capacity to administer vaccines will be enrolled under each phase/wave of the plan, under their local health districts. Long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities, healthcare providers, local, regional pharmacies.

The presentation said the facilities which do not have the capacity to administer the vaccine would be referred to the following partners to coordinate coverage at their locations: local health departments, pharmacies with mobile vaccination capacity, Community Nursing Services.

There are two versions of phase 1. The first phase, 1a/Wave 1: Limited Doses available. Utah used a prioritization workgroup – with many partners. They met weekly to decide based on CDC and Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices. (ACIP) of healthcare workers to receive the vaccine. These would be ED, Urgent care, COVID ward, ICU Workers, Healthcare workers with pre-existing conditions, housekeeping.

WAVE 1: Limited Doses (December) A select number of hospitals with the highest COVID-19 response will be enrolled to conduct vaccination among their healthcare personnel. Each hospital will identify the most at risk by their health organization. U. of U. Hospital, LDS Hospital, Intermountain Medical Center, Utah Valley Regional Hospital, Dixie Regional Hospital.

WAVE 2 and 3 (Additional Doses Available (January). Facility doses during Wave 1 will begin to receive 2nd dose. Remaining hospital facilities to vaccinate, The remaining healthcare personnel, including clinics, pharmacy staff, Long-Term Care/ Assisted Living/ Skilled Nursing staff, and other healthcare personnel. Partnerships with local health departments, Walgreens, EMS/First Responders & Public health.

WAVE 4 &5: Additional Doses Available (Feb & March) LTCF staff not previously vaccinated, LTCF residents with federal partnerships. Walgreens and CVS have partnerships. Next is worker prioritization/ Essential workers – a coalition of partners from policy, business, healthcare, public health, governor’s office. The risk level is based on the probability of contracting COVID-19 by occupation.

PHASE 2, Wave 1, 2, & 3: Tribal Entities, 65+ years of age, workers with a risk level of 3, teachers, childcare, personal care, airline, etc. Racial/Ethnic groups, food prep, underlying medical. Others within the risk level model – dependent upon the amount of vaccine

Utah officials want to share the details of the state’s vaccination plan. Then the remaining workers at risk level 3 & 2 categories and finally all Utahns.

PHASE 3: Likely Sufficient Supply (July). Immunization programs and local health departments will continue partnerships within public and private sectors to ensure access to the COVID vaccine.

The immunization program monitors vaccine uptake and coverage through population data. Continuing monitoring of vaccine to minimize vaccine wastage and improve coverage throughout local health departments.

Two manufacturers are making the vaccines currently slated for distribution.

The presentation reported the status:

Pfizer timeline: potential EUA filing in the third week of November + 2 weeks for VRBPAC recommendation = late in the first week of December. (if all goes right) before Pfizer vaccine could be in place.

Moderna timeline: potential EUA filing in early to mid-December + 2 weeks for VRBPAC recommendation + 24 hours for ACIP recommendation = late December (if all goes right) before Moderna vaccine could be in place.

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