NCDHHS submits plan to CDC prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine

NCDHHS submits plan to CDC prioritizing COVID-19 vaccine
The goal is to immunize everyone who is eligible for and wants a COVID-19 vaccine (Source: Provided)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The COVID-19 vaccination plan, submitted to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday, October 16, outlines how the state will prioritize vaccination in North Carolina.

The goal is to immunize everyone who is eligible for and wants a COVID-19 vaccine according to a framework created by the National Academy of Medicine in consultation with an external COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine.

“Leaders from across sectors came together under tight timelines to collaboratively develop a vaccine plan that leads with equity and prioritizes building trust. We will continue to update this plan as we learn more from the science and data on vaccines and in response to the needs of North Carolinians,” said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

Five principals were used for prioritizing distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the state.

  1. All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
  2. Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
  3. Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
  4. Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
  5. Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation

“From an operational perspective, this plan engages the state’s resources down to a county and local level and allows for flexibility based on data so we can pivot quickly and get the vaccine to those who are most in need,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry.

Vaccine development

Multiple vaccines are being developed and those that are promising are being manufactured at the same time they are being tested. The goal is to have an initial supply available once scientific studies show which vaccines are safe and effective.

Once a vaccine receives Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, it will take time for manufacturers to produce enough to vaccinate everyone.

“Trust is the key to success. Old North State Medical Society strongly recommends the inclusion of established community leaders in supporting distribution of these new vaccines,” said Old North State Medical Society President Charlene Greene, MD.

This plan will be revised according to guidance and updates from the CDC and other federal agencies.

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