US Gov’t Outlines Plan For Covid-19 Vaccine Roll Out

The US Government has outlined an ambitious plan to provide coronavirus vaccine to millions of Americans.

Provision of a coronavirus vaccine in the US is to happen under the umbrella of Operation Warp Speed.

Operation Warp Speed is a White House-backed initiative to have millions of doses ready to ship once a vaccine is given what is expected to be an emergency use approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The plan for the role out was outlined on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

The plan was captured in a report to Congress and an accompanying “playbook” for states and localities.

In the documents, federal health agencies and the Defense Department outlined complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot.

The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots, the report revealed.

The campaign is “much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous outbreak-related vaccination responses,” according to the playbook for states from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the highlights:

— For most vaccines, people will need two doses, 21 to 28 days apart. Double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drugmaker. There could be several vaccines from different manufacturers approved and available.

— Vaccination of the U.S. population won’t be a sprint but a marathon. Initially there may be a limited supply of vaccines available, and the focus will be on protecting health workers, other essential employees, and people in vulnerable groups. The National Academy of Medicine is working on priorities for the first phase. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country.

— The vaccine itself will be free of charge, and patients won’t be charged out of pocket for the administration of shots, thanks to billions of dollars in taxpayer funding approved by Congress and allocated by the Trump administration.

— States and local communities will need to devise precise plans for receiving and locally distributing vaccines, some of which will require special handling such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have a month to submit plans.

The US has recorded at least 6.63 million cases of covid-19 and some 196,000 deaths.

By Melvin Tarlue