HHS and CDC present strategies for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published its plan for distributing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations in a four-part strategy available on the agency’s website.

Once a vaccine receives approval or authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the HHS plan, developed with the Department of Defense (DOD), will include four primary objectives, as outlined in the published strategy:

  • “Continue engaging with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners, other stakeholders, and the public to communicate public health information, before and after distribution begins, around the vaccine and promote vaccine confidence and uptake.
  • Distribute vaccines immediately upon granting of Emergency Use Authorization/ Biologics License Application, using a transparently developed, phased allocation methodology.
  • Ensure safe administration of the vaccine and availability of administration supplies.
  • Monitor necessary data from the vaccination program through an information technology (IT) system capable of supporting and tracking distribution, administration, and other necessary data.”

The HHS and DOD strategy is based on a January 2021 target to begin distribution of an FDA-approved or authorized vaccination.

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations to help local, state, tribal and territorial partners in rolling out COVID-19 vaccination programs. The resource outlines different phases of vaccine availability and defines “critical populations” who should receive the earliest doses of the vaccine.

Additionally, in its report, the CDC encourages jurisdictions to establish a vaccination program implementation committee that includes representatives from local health departments, pharmacies, churches or other religious institutions, correctional facilities, educational agencies, and other stakeholders.

Editor's note: Click here for more information and ongoing COVID-19 updates for integrative healthcare professionals.