Federal Government Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

September 23, 2020 13:16:25

On Wednesday of last week, the Trump administration announced their plan to distribute a coronavirus vaccine, free of charge, once it has been approved for use. The plan focuses on targeted groups then expands as the supply of the vaccine grows.

The government released a phased distribution using a contract that was awarded to McKesson earlier in August of this year. The first recipients of the vaccine could be:

  • Healthcare workers who are likely to be exposed to the virus or those that treat and care for people who have COVID-19.
  • Other essential workers
  • Individuals who are at an increased risk for severe ailments as a result of COVID-19. This includes those with underlying medical conditions as well as people who are 65 years or older.

According to a transitional vaccine distribution strategy that was released on Wednesday, the final decisions depend on the proven effectiveness of the vaccines that will be developed in the Phase 3 trials.

This ‘strategy’ was written for local, state, territorial and tribal public health programs and elaborates how to plan and carry out a vaccination program within their respective areas.

Phase 1 would start after the FDA approves a vaccine. State officials are planning for administration and distribution to fixed populations and have provided local and state health departments with specific scenarios to plan for in this stage.

Phase 2 entails the distribution of the vaccines to a larger population as the vaccines become more available.

Phase 3 involves making COVID-19 vaccines available universally and ensuring they are incorporated into public and private vaccination programs.

Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and administer safe and effective coronavirus vaccine doses by January 2021. There are also plans to use the federal distribution plan to form area-specific plans that will help identify vaccination areas and other logistics.

Centralized distribution allows the federal government to have full control, visibility and ability to use data to improve the vaccine uptake. These location-specific plans will also:

  • Monitor adverse events and outcomes
  • Identify when an individual needs a second vaccine dose
  • Incorporate payment processes and claims
  • Account for products that the government is spending money on to study, develop and supply.

The long-term safety of these vaccines will be evaluated through post-licensure clinical trials and pharmacovigilance surveillance. The main goal for now is to convince the public to be vaccinated. To achieve high coverage, the right messages to promote vaccine confidence need to be identified. Additionally, the CDC will work with local public health departments and partners to effectively achieve high vaccine uptake among the people. Analysts say biomedical companies like Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) are likely to be encouraged by the preparations being made because such activities indicate that a viable vaccine is about to be released.

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