Washington’s ‘Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan’ submitted to CDC

Washington’s ‘Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan’ submitted to CDC

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health submitted its interim vaccination plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the stated deadline of Oct. 16, 2020.

This plan is Washington state’s response to the request from the CDC for state and territorial health departments to answer questions and outline their preliminary plans for vaccine distribution. It describes how the department will approach the work of planning for and distributing an U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once available. It also describes how ow crucial lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic vaccine distribution in 2009 informed our COVID-19 vaccine plan.

“We want to emphasize that this is the first version of our plan,” said Michele Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary with executive oversight for COVID-19 vaccines.  “This is essentially a living document. But the one thing that won’t change is our focus on equitable distribution of the vaccine as a priority. As we learn more about the vaccine, and as we learn more specifically from communities and partners most impacted by COVID-19, this plan will evolve.”

Overall, Washington state is well positioned to receive, handle, distribute, and administer COVID-19 vaccine once an FDA-approved safe and effective vaccine is available. DOH has started its planning through intentional engagement and collaboration with other, state agencies, local government, health care providers, neighboring states, and community partners. In compliance with the government-to-government process, the department will follow its consultation and collaboration procedure for engaging with tribal nations.

Areas of Action

The plan itself outlines specific action steps the department will take. Major areas of action include:

Provider and public health actions

  • Develop a community and partner-informed that identifies critical and disproportionately impacted populations to receive vaccine in each phase of the COVID-19 vaccination response.
  • Identify and recruit COVID-19 vaccination providers.
  • Train enrolled providers on proper vaccine storage, handling, and administration.
  • Train enrolled providers on reminder/recall techniques and effective vaccine promotion.
  • Gather and monitor vaccine administration data and provider enrollment data.

Community actions

  • Support distribution of the vaccine in phases according to the allocation framework.
  • Gather feedback from communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 or at higher risk of contracting the disease.
  • Conduct outreach and education in an equitable way. Ensure our materials are culturally and linguistically appropriate for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
  • Build vaccine confidence and trust within Washington communities.
  • Provide timely, accurate, and credible information to the people of Washington on COVID-19 vaccine, including safety information.
  • Promote COVID-19 vaccination to everyone who qualifies to receive it in each phase.

Department officials want to emphasize that this is a starting place. Crucial feedback from statewide partners, impacted communities, and the public will help us understand the best ways to equitably distribute the vaccine as the department moves forward with further plans. “While we plan to open up the doors to feedback about this plan, it’s said Lacy Fehrenbach, deputy secretary for COVID-19 Response. “Decision-making is happening alongside our many partners at the local, state, and federal levels.”

Expected Outcomes

The department’s expected outcomes include ensuring people in Washington will understand the phased approach to vaccination and know when and how they may receive their vaccination. In addition, vaccine providers will properly offer and administer an FDA-approved safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available. . Finally, people in Washington will have the option to receive an FDA-approved safe and effective vaccine during the appropriate phase to protect them against COVID-19.

The department is committed to continuing listening to the community and preparing to deploy a vaccine in a way that is equitable, safe, and timely for the people of Washington.