The federal government supplies the vaccine and makes recommendations for the distribution, but the final say is up to the states. For our part, we have completed the TDHS application to be able to administer the vaccine and been approved.
Here is the recommendation of the ACIP that voted today followed by an article on the State of Texas distribution plan.
CDC advisers vote on vaccine allocation: The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted 13-1 on Tuesday in favor of prioritizing both healthcare workers and residents of long-term-care facilities for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 during the initial phase of vaccination once a vaccine is authorized by the FDA and recommended by ACIP. One committee member emphasized the need to “preserve the healthcare capacity before it’s too late,” while others stressed the disproportionate number of deaths among long-term-care facility residents. The importance of ongoing safety monitoring was also discussed widely.
If you wish to see the power point presentations from the meeting which outline the science and rationale behind the decisions, here they are:
Abbott: Health care workers helping COVID-19 patients among first to receive coronavirus vaccine in Texas
HOUSTON – Health care workers likely to provide direct care for COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents will likely be the first group to receive the coronavirus vaccine in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Monday.
The coronavirus vaccine will be distributed across the state as early as next month, Abbott’s office said.
The news release said, “EVAP has recommended, and the Commissioner of Health John Hellerstedt has approved, health care workers likely to provide direct care for COVID-19 patients and other vulnerable residents to be the first group to receive the vaccine. This includes staff at hospitals and long-term care facilities, emergency medical services and home health care workers. As part of its ongoing work, EVAP will make recommendations on how and when to roll out vaccine to other critical groups.”
Abbott’s office said the following plan will serve as “the guiding principles for Texas’ COVID-19 vaccine allocation process.”
Abbott’s office said in a news release that the principles were established by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, created by DSHS to make recommendations on vaccine allocation decisions, including identifying groups that should be vaccinated first to provide the most protection to vulnerable populations and critical state resources.
“These guiding principles established by the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will ensure that the State of Texas swiftly distributes the COVID-19 vaccine to Texans who voluntarily choose to be immunized,” Abbott is quoted as saying in a news release. “This foundation for the allocation process will help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, protect the most vulnerable Texans, and safeguard crucial state resources.”
Texas will initially allocate COVID-19 vaccines based on the following criteria:
- Protecting health care workers who fill a critical role in caring for and preserving the lives of COVID-19 patients and maintaining the health care infrastructure for all who need it.
- Protecting frontline workers who are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of their work providing critical services and preserving the economy.
- Protecting vulnerable populations who are at greater risk of severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19.
- Mitigating health inequities due to factors such as demographics, poverty, insurance status and geography.
- Data-driven allocations using the best available scientific evidence and epidemiology at the time, allowing for flexibility for local conditions.
- Geographic diversity through a balanced approach that considers access in urban and rural communities and in affected ZIP codes.
- Transparency through sharing allocations with the public and seeking public feedback.
Here is a classification of health care workers, based on a news release from the state.
Phase 1A: Health Care Workers Definition
1. Hospital staff working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Includes: a. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.) b. Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services 2. Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes: a. Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers b. Physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff 3. EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport 4. Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients
1. Staff in outpatient care offices who interact with symptomatic patients. Includes: a. Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.) b. Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/or rehabilitation services c. Non 9-1-1 transport for routine care 2. Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics 3. Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID 4. Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations 5. Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19. Includes: a. Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents b. Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents 6. School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers
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