State reviewing possible coronavirus vaccine distribution plan

The 56-page document is called the Pandemic Influenza Operational Plan, and it outlines responsibilities of state and local health departments.

Posted: Sep 9, 2020 10:37 PM
Updated: Sep 10, 2020 12:20 AM

Scientists are hard at work creating a vaccine to fight Coronavirus, and we've learned local, state and federal officials got to work Wednesday on a plan on how you can get the vaccine once it's approved.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met today to begin examining a document on the state's pandemic and vaccine protocols first put together in 2018.

The 56-page document is called the Pandemic Influenza Operational Plan, and it outlines responsibilities of state and local health departments.

It also lists specific requirements for vaccine locations, like parking, clinic space, and the need for certain medical employees to be present.

The plan starts off with predictions of what may happen if there is a pandemic in the state.

It says "Delays in availability of vaccines and shortages of antiviral drugs are likely, particularly early in the pandemic."

Then the plan moves on to how local and state health departments should respond.

The document says the state will be in charge of the distribution of vaccines and antivirals.

Local health departments are responsible for finding vaccination facilities, transportation, and storage of the vaccine.

When it comes to vaccine clinics, here's the list of requirements.

Clinics should be near populated areas with considerations for mass transit, ample parking and enough space for vaccine storage.

Each site is required to have refrigerator units to store those vaccines.

The plan states clinics should use ropes, stands and signs in multiple languages to show people how to move throughout the facility.

Emergency personnel must be available at every location in case someone has an allergic reaction. The document advises that clinics arrange accommodations for special-needs clients and people who are at high risk.

If there's a need for more clinics, there are backup locations listed, like school gyms, churches, auditoriums, and theaters.

The operational plan also lists who will be able to receive vaccines first.

That includes personnel involved in medical care, emergency responders, selected law enforcement, military members and people who are at high risk of mortality, like those in nursing homes or pregnant women.

Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health tells WAAY 31 this is a basic outline of a vaccine plan and as the state and CDC continues to review this document, adjustments may me made.

Governor Kay Ivey's office told WAAY 31's Casey Albritton conversations about vaccine locations have already begun, and more information on those will be released later.

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