(KSLA) — COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and researched by several manufacturers. Those vaccines must be deemed effective and safe by the FDA and the CDC before they can be distributed to the public.
In preparation for the arrival of any COVID-19 vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention required each state to draft comprehensive plans to distribute it.
Those planning efforts are being coordinated by each state’s health department with input from key partners and stakeholders.
Louisiana’s Office of Public Health, for example, began initial planning in the spring and drew upon its experience with distribution of the H1N1 vaccine in 2009 and the distribution and administration of more common vaccines every day.
Louisiana also has assembled what it calls a COVID-19 vaccine action collaborative that includes representatives of key stakeholders in the public and private sectors. The collaborative is using CDC guidance to prepare for the COVID-19 vaccination response, including communications, logistics and vaccine allocation and distribution plans.
Most states — including Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas — submitted drafts of their distribution plans to the CDC in mid-October. The states intend to update their plans as needed based on any feedback from the CDC in the coming weeks.
In late October, the CDC published its own interim vaccination program playbook for states, territories, tribal areas, local public health programs and their partners.
Louisiana says it will rely upon the CDC’s Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices to guide recommendations on which populations should be vaccinated with any of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“A multiplatform communications and marketing plan is currently being developed that includes steps for conducting outreach to groups most affected by COVID-19 and continue efforts to ensure reaching the most vulnerable groups and underserved areas,” the LDH says.
Meantime, states have been enrolling vaccination providers to ensure the resources are in place for populations to receive vaccinations as soon as they become available.
Louisiana, for one, also has identified what it defines as employees who have a “critical role ... in societal function.” It is asking those employers to complete a questionnaire by Nov. 30.
In part, it reads: “In order for the LDH-OPH to allocate enough vaccines for these key personnel, and to communicate with worksites on when and where vaccines would be available to personnel, we need designated ‘point-of-contacts’ at each worksite to complete a quick online survey. The information will establish a strong communication channel with your worksite, going forward.”
Among other things, the survey asks employers for the number of staffers they have. That information, LDH says, “... will factor into the allocation and distribution of vaccines throughout the state as part of the state’s planning efforts.”
Following are links to the interim COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans as drafted by the CDC and Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.
For your convenience, the states’ plans also are provided here for your review:
This is Arkansas’s interim COVID-19 vaccination plan:
This is the draft of Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccination playbook:
This is the working draft of Oklahoma’s COVID-19 vaccination plan:
This is the draft of Texas’s COVID-19 vaccination plan: