With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration set to review and approve a COVID-19 vaccine this week, states are finalizing plans for the distribution of the shots.
And while there are some common practices states are sharing, ultimately how the vaccine is distributed and administered is up to the individual state.
Each state has been charged with crafting its own plan for receiving, storing and deciding who will be first to receive the vaccine.
In Texas, the Texas Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel makes recommendations to the state commissioner of health concerning who should get the vaccine first, and how that distribution should take place.
In Kentucky, residents and workers in long-term care centers will get two-thirds of the state’s allotment. The other third will go to those working in hospital COVID-19 units, according to the state department of public health’s plans.
According to a story from USA Today, Illinois will receive the first shipments of vaccine at a central location before distributing them to local health departments.
In Georgia, the state will vaccinate healthcare workers and nursing home residents first, followed by essential workers and school staff.
According to the National Academy for State Health Policy, no two states have organized their vaccine distribution plan in the same way, though a NASHP analysis showed that the number of phases of a vaccine roll out, how populations are characterized in those phases and the number of people who will be given a vaccine in each phase are the driving factors for how vaccines will be distributed.
There is one area where every state plan is in agreement: prioritizing vaccinating health care workers first.
The NASHP also found that
- Forty-two states included health care workers in their phase 1A vaccine distribution plans.
- Nineteen states included residents in nursing homes and assisted care facilities in their phase 1A plans.
- Twenty-one states included long-term care facility residents in their phase 1B plans.
- Six states designated long-term care residents for vaccination in their phase 2 plans, and one state has them in its phase 3 plan.
- Twenty-two states plan to vaccinate teachers at some point during their phase 1 distribution; 12 states list teachers in phase 2 plans.
- Nine states plan to vaccinate those incarcerated in prison at some point in phase 1. Twenty-seven states plan to vaccine incarcerated people in phase 2 plans and two states plan to vaccinate them in phase 3.
- Ten states plan to vaccinate correctional officers in phase 1, and 13 states in phase 2.
- Eight states plan to vaccinate people in homeless shelters at some point in phase 1; 22 states will do it in phase 2, and three states will do it in phase 3.
What is your state’s plan?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention required each state to file a plan for vaccine storage and distribution. Below are links to each state’s plan.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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