NCDHHS submits COVID-19 vaccination plan to CDC

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

State health officials say the goal of the plan is to immunize everyone who is eligible for and wants a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Leaders from across sectors came together under tight timelines to collaboratively develop a vaccine plan that leads with equity and prioritizes building trust. We will continue to update this plan as we learn more from the science and data on vaccines and in response to the needs of North Carolinians,” said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.

North Carolina’s vaccine plan reflects five principles that guide the planning for and distribution of one or more COVID-19 vaccines in the state. The principles include:

  • All North Carolinians have equitable access to vaccines.
  • Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive; actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
  • Transparent, accurate and frequent public communications is essential to building trust.
  • Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision-making.
  • Appropriate stewardship of resources and continuous evaluation and improvement drive successful implementation.

“North Carolina Emergency Management has been working with our partners at the NC Department of Health and Human Services to ensure we have a solid coronavirus vaccine plan,” said NCEM Director Mike Sprayberry. “From an operational perspective, this plan engages the state’s resources down to a county and local level and allows for flexibility based on data so we can pivot quickly and get the vaccine to those who are most in need.”

Currently, multiple vaccines are in development.

According to state health officials, for a vaccine to be authorized, studies must show it is safe and can prevent someone from catching COVID-19.

Thousands of people have volunteered to be part of research trials across the United States and around the world to see if a vaccine is safe and prevents COVID-19 illness.

Promising vaccines are being manufactured at the same time they are being tested, so there will be an initial supply when the science shows which vaccines are found to be safe and effective, NCDHHS says.

Once the Food and Drug Administration authorizes a vaccine, it will take time for manufacturers to ramp up production.

Therefore, states will receive limited vaccine supplies at the start and will need to determine which populations receive the vaccine first.

“Our convening of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee informed the state’s plan with independent and diverse perspectives from experts and community leaders across our state. The committee was composed of a broad range of leaders, including from those populations most significantly affected by COVID-19, including racial and ethnicity groups, health care, public health and academia, who worked diligently over the past month in order to fully address equity, inequalities and health issues that are driving the pandemic and creating mistrust,” Michelle Ries, Interim Director, North Carolina Institute of Medicine.

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