A detailed plan has been announced outlining how a vaccine to combat COVID-19 will be distributed and administered to millions of Americans, not just quickly, but at no cost.
The plan has several components:
• Widespread dissemination of information about the vaccine will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services public affairs department.
• Boosting the infrastructure that will be needed to deliver the vaccine as soon as it is ready and authorized for use by the FDA.
• Bringing at least 6.6 million vaccine kits which will have to include syringes, alcohol wipes, and other supplies.
The plan was publicized in a 57-page booklet distributed to states.
A recent poll taken by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about two-thirds of adults are worried that the government is putting too much pressure on the FDA to approve a vaccine, making them suspicious of the safety and efficacy of a vaccine developed too fast and distributed and delivered too soon.
The plan calls for an October 16 deadline for states to submit a blueprint to the CDC describing how each state will administer and distribute the vaccine.
The administration of the vaccine is expected to be complicated. The vaccines that are in development now will require two doses, but it is not yet known if the doses will be separated by 21 or 28 days.
“We have to be able to tell the person that we vaccinated when it’s time to come back in for the second shot … we have to be able to alert them,” explained Lt. General Paul Ostrowski, the deputy chief of supply, production and distribution for Operation Warp Speed, the interagency program created to speed along the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
“And we also need to make sure that they have the right vaccine injected on the second dose. These vaccines are not interchangeable.”