Who will get the vaccine first and when will it be rolled out?
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has presented a timeline as to who would be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccination if they can start rolling out the jabs next month as planned.
Older people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are likely to be the first to be vaccinated.
According to Operation Warp Speed’s strategy plan, adults with underlying medical conditions that are at risk for serious COVID-19 disease, as well as those over the age of 65, may also fall into this entry-level category.
Vaccinations from health workers and first responders will follow, with the aim of completing those shots by the end of January.
Azar said he expects to have enough vaccinations for “ all Americans ” by late March to early April.
Dr. Anthony Fauci agreed with this determination, predicting that Americans are likely to be vaccinated by April.
A final priority list is yet to be determined by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which will be based in part on vaccine efficacy data from the various studies, including Pfizer and Moderna.
This chart shows the distribution plan of Operation Warp Speed from when a vaccine is approved by the FDA to application at application sites
How many photos do you have to take and how much does it cost?
The COVID-19 vaccine must be taken in two doses approximately three weeks apart to be fully effective.
While multiple vaccines may be available next year, they are not interchangeable if they are developed by different companies.
This means that the second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
Operation Warp Speed’s strategy plan states that those who supply the vaccine must hand out vaccine registry cards showing the manufacturer. Registration cards can also serve as a reminder about receiving the second dose.
Congress and President Donald Trump have already passed legislation calling for vaccines to be free for all Americans.
How much will the US have available?
The government already has a $ 1.95 billion contract for 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is enough to inoculate 50 million people, with an option to acquire another 500 million.
The government will also secure 100 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine upon payment of $ 1.5 billion, with an option for an additional 400 million doses.
Pfizer has already said it will distribute its own vaccine from its facilities directly to application sites. Other vaccines are shipped by a government contractor from the manufacturer
Where Can Americans Get COVID-19 Vaccinations?
The government will allocate stocks of vaccine to states that will then be responsible for administering the shots.
The government is organizing free distribution of the vaccine to US states and territories, with each jurisdiction controlling how doses are distributed among hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, or even universities.
In the early stages of the rollout, the CDC recommended that states make vaccines available at major hospitals and health systems, pharmacies, mobile vaccination providers, corporate health facilities for major employers, critical access hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers and other central locations that can provide vaccination services for a wide area.
The CDC says it has existing agreements with CFS and Walgreens to help with on-site vaccinations in long-term care facilities.
Operation Warp Speed has indicated that vaccinations should be available from all healthcare providers licensed to administer vaccines, including pharmacies.
The pharmacies that have already signed up to provide vaccinations, according to the CDC, are: Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger Co., Albertsons, and Costco.
Who is responsible for sending the vaccinations and how is this handled?
While General Gus Perna of the United States Army is coordinating the distribution of the vaccine, the military will not be involved in shipping the vaccine to the locations where the shots will be administered.
Vaccines made by Moderna and other candidates are shipped direct from the manufacturer by McKesson Corp.
McKesson, who has been contracted for distribution by Operation Warp Speed, was also contracted by the government to distribute H1N1 vaccines during that 2009-2010 pandemic.
Pfizer has already said it will distribute its own vaccine from its facilities in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.
The drugmaker has already created a staging post at its Michigan facility, complete with 350 large freezers to hold the vaccines as soon as they are made and ready for shipment.
The Pfizer rendition will include a precise, clockwork-like dance of containers, trucks and planes.
The vaccine must be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, so thermal shipping containers are each filled with dry ice and 975 vials of the vaccine, each containing five doses, for a total of 4,875 doses.
Every day, six trucks deliver the doses to airlines such as FedEx, UPS or DHL, who deliver them in one to two days in the US and in three days around the world. The company expects an average of 20 daily cargo flights worldwide.
FedEx needed special permission from the civil aviation authorities to carry that much dry ice, which could endanger the crew if it were accidentally ‘sublimated’ and went from a solid to a gas, the company
Once the boxes have reached their final destination, they can only be opened briefly twice a day. The vaccines can stay in their boxes for two weeks, meaning hospitals don’t need a dedicated freezer.
Moderna’s vaccine can be stored at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of a normal freezer.
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