State submits plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine trial
Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 10:43:59-04

(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) has submitted its plan for distributing coronavirus vaccines to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention.

In September, the federal government told states to prepare a for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready to distribute by Nov. 1.

Kentucky’s initial, comprehensive draft plan is now in writing and awaiting feedback from the CDC.

According to the document, once a vaccine is approved, the distribution would occur in three phases.

“The first phase of the plan will help ensure those most at risk – certain health care workers and first responders – have access to the vaccination,” said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of KDPH. “The plan will accommodate vaccinating these essential workers in every county across the commonwealth.”

Health officials anticipate bottlenecks in the supply chain will limit the availability of vaccine doses early on.

“This is the reason for a phased distribution approach. As supplies of the vaccine rise, all Kentuckians are expected to have access,” Stack said, adding that distributing the vaccine to as many as 4.4 million residents will likely take a year or more to complete.

Once more vaccine doses become available, the state will move on to the second phase, which brings the general population into the equation and expands the vaccine provider network.

Kentucky will enter the third phase when the supply of vaccines exceeds the demand for them.

The document also details a plan for ensuring everyone can be vaccinated.

A Vaccine Allocation Committee (VAC) established by KDPH will be tasked with ensuring every community has equitable access to the vaccine, especially those disproportionately affected by the virus.

In order to meet the need, the state’s draft emphasized the use of “mobile vaccine teams” to provide mass vaccination clinics and a wide network of vaccine providers.

The document addressed some potential factors that could be cause for concern as the state begins distribution efforts, including administration fees impacting uninsured Kentuckians and the anti-vaccination movement.

If you would like to read the full vaccine distribution draft plan, you can do so here.