Although a coronavirus vaccine is not yet approved, states are beginning to outline their plans for distributing the shots among key sectors of their population.
Florida posted a “draft” Covid-19 Vaccination Plan on its Department of Health website likely updated last week. The 50-page document says the state is planning to use a “time-phased” strategy that prioritizes health care personnel, essential workers, people with medical conditions that place them at higher risk of complications, and people over age 65.
According to the draft document, Florida is waiting on additional guidance and materials from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding Covid-19 specific training materials.
Here is a look at what the phased strategy would look like:
- Phase 1: There would be a limited supply of the vaccine in this phase and it would require prioritizing its administration, according to the document. During this phase, the vaccine would be administered to health care workers, long-term care staff and residents, as well as first responders.
- Phase 2: A large number of doses would be available during this phase. At that time, vaccination will be expanded to state-managed vaccination sites, routine health care delivery settings for children, hospital in-patients and outpatients, and community-based based vaccination sites.
- The third and final phase: During this phase, the vaccine would be widely available. Demand for the vaccine is expected to stabilize, and the state will transition to provide the vaccine through routine health care delivery systems and commercial pharmacies. Pharmacies will be queried about their storage and refrigeration capabilities.
The document warns that prioritization of vaccine recipients has not been finalized by the CDC, and priority groups may vary based on the vaccine that is ultimately approved.
The vaccination plan comes as the number of reported Covid-19 cases per week in the state has tripled since Gov. Ron DeSantis reopened Florida in late September.
In a video address last week, DeSantis announced the state purchased millions of needles, syringes and alcohol swaps to prepare for the distribution of a vaccine.
The state has identified five hospital systems across the state that can store vaccines at extreme cold temperatures.
CNN reached out to the Florida Department of Health regarding the “draft” vaccination plan and has not heard back.