CDC’s Vaccine Committee Prepares COVID-19 Vaccine Allocations
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held an out-of-schedule, emergency meeting to discuss various issues related to experimental COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Held at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Atlanta, Georgia Healthquarters, this digital meeting was opened by the Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield on November 23, 2020.
Dr. Redfield highlighted the CDC’s efforts to enhance COVID-19 vaccine trust by increasing transparency of the clinical process. The primary focus of the discussion on the allocation of emergency-approved COVID-19 vaccine candidates, once the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces their decision on experimental vaccine approval requests.
Within the USA, there are (4) vaccine candidates in Phase III clinical trials and (6) vaccines in Phase I/II clinical trials, including vaccines created in England and Germany.
On a regular basis, the ACIP holds three meetings each year to review scientific data and vote on vaccine recommendations. Dr. Beth Bell, the ACIP Work Group, led the presentations of the EtR Framework: Public Health Problem, Resource Use and Equity Domains by Dr. Sara Oliver; EtR Framework: Values, Acceptability and Feasibility Domains by Dr. Sara Oliver; and Phased Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccines by Dr. Kathleen Dooling.
During this digital meeting, the ACIP’s presentations had a specific focus on vaccine allocations based on ‘equity-based’ allocations and administration concerns. The ACIP’s Phase 1a proposed allocation plan included healthcare workers, those seniors living in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF), and those working for these facilities.
The CDC presented data that indicated as of November 6, 2020, LTCF residents and staff accounted for about 6 percent of COVID-19 cases and 39 percent of related fatalities in the USA.
To better service the senior population and community-based needs, the US Operation Warp Speed has already enlisted most pharmacies to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
To maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced partnerships with networks that represent independent pharmacies and chains on November 12, 2020. Through these partnerships, approximately 60 percent of pharmacies throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will be empowered to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Moreover, since each COVID-19 vaccine candidate needs to be evaluated on specific storage characteristics, such as ‘cold-chain’ refrigeration, most pharmacies are already well equipped to manage this requirement.
The National Community Pharmacist Association’s CEO Douglas Hoey stated: “Developing a vaccine in record time is the first hurdle. Then we need a way to distribute hundreds of millions of doses in record time. Community pharmacies are crucial to the administration of the millions of vaccine doses that will be needed to overcome the debilitating effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”
“Community pharmacies are located where the people are, including rural and medically underserved areas,” Hoey added.
An updated listing of leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including those from China and Russia, is published on this PrecisionVaccinations webpage. However, current COVID-19 vaccine candidates have not released substantiative efficacy data related to children, pregnant women, and the potential impact of unborn infants.
PrecisionVaccinations publishes research-based news.
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- Hoey supports Operation Warp Speed
- Coronavirus Vaccines