Within a day and for free: how the United States will distribute the vaccine against COVID-19 and who will receive it
The United States plans to begin distributing the COVID-19 vaccine within 24 hours of its approval. Writes about it USA Today.
This is an ambitious goal in an already frantically evolving COVID-19 vaccine development and distribution program overseen by the White House.
The goal is that within 24 hours of a license or emergency permit, “the vaccine is distributed to administrative sites,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, deputy chief of procurement, production and distribution at Operation Warp Speed.
The initial rollout of vaccine distribution could start as early as late this year or January 2021.
The announcement came after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 56-page “guide” detailing how the vaccine will be distributed to healthcare providers at the national level.
The vaccine will be available to any American who wants to, regardless of his ability to pay, officials said. The vaccine itself, as well as syringes and other equipment, will be distributed and paid for by the US government, officials said.
An administration fee, basically a fee for the vaccination procedure itself, can be collected by doctors' offices, clinics and pharmacies, but it will likely be paid through private insurance, Medicaid, or federal funding.
The details remain to be discussed with Medicare providers. In the worst case scenario, it will cost $ 3,50 per shot, "but we are working on it," said Paul Mango, spokesman for the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In a report to Congress and its accompanying state and local government "guide", the federal health departments and the Department of Defense laid out comprehensive plans for the vaccination campaign. It will start slowly in January 2021, or possibly at the end of 2020, on the assumption that the initial supply of the vaccine will be limited. In a few months, when more vaccines become available, vaccinations will be offered to every American who wants to.
Distribution will be through McKesson, a medical distribution company that works with the Pentagon on logistics and IT support. All injections will be given by civilian health workers in health departments, clinics, hospitals, doctors' offices and pharmacies.
The campaign is "much broader and more complex than vaccination measures against seasonal flu or other prior outbreaks," according to the documents.
The main points of the developed program:
- Most vaccine candidates require two doses. Some need to be given 21 days apart, others 28. The second dose must be from the same vaccine manufacturer. It is expected that eventually several vaccines from different manufacturers will be approved and available.
- Health care workers, other important staff and people from vulnerable groups will receive the vaccine first. The National Academy of Medicine and the CDC's Immunization Practices Advisory Committee are developing plans for who will be first in line.
- State and local health departments will need to develop precise plans for the receipt and local distribution of vaccines.
- Each state has one month to submit its distribution plan.
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