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Hospitals likely to be the first local recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine | News

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Kern’s public health authorities plan to give local hospitals and health systems an “important role” in managing the county’s initial supply once COVID-19 vaccination is available. .. Perhaps bypass pharmacies and clinics until higher doses.

If approved by state authorities, this strategy could put the county’s initial vaccine supply into the hands of a relatively small number of organizations, making it easier to restrict access to those identified as having the highest risk of infection. There is sex.

A spokeswoman for the County Public Health Service explained the plan by email on Tuesday. Authorities were preparing to send a proposal to state authorities on how to distribute the first available vaccine locally in California soon this month. The county did not share a copy of the draft document with the Californians.

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he expects California to receive 327,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by pharmaceutical company Pfizer by mid-month, assuming the shot was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Did. The vaccine shipped in dry ice for preservation is the first of the two vaccinations required to vaccinate against the virus, and the second vaccination is expected to be at an unspecified date.

The California Public Health Service said email hospitals and local health services will receive most of the vaccine and administer it to healthcare professionals, especially those who work directly with COVID-19 patients.

Khan’s public health spokeswoman, Michelle Corson, said Khan’s approach largely prioritizes state and federal agencies on how the county predicts that vaccines will be distributed locally. He said it would reflect. This is disproportionately high, with front-line healthcare workers first vaccinated, followed by other health care workers at high risk during a pandemic, followed by first responders and other essential workers. Infections suggesting that minorities suffering from a proportion of COVID-19 may continue.

“It will take some time before the vaccine becomes widely available,” Corson emphasized, as the vaccine arrives locally in limited supplies. Meanwhile, she said hospitals are likely to be vaccinated first in Khan.

“Hospitals and large healthcare systems are likely to play an important role in vaccination of priority populations,” she wrote. He added that the distribution channel would eventually expand.

“Like the flu vaccine, we continue to rely on important partnerships with local healthcare providers and pharmacies to provide vaccinations to our communities,” she said.

The local hospital system said it expects the vaccine to be ready to be given as soon as it arrives.

“Mercy & Memorial Hospital has established protocols for vaccination, storage and management and is ready to partner with local and state health agencies to safely distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. “We are,” said Jessica Neely, a communications specialist at Dignity Health, in an email on Tuesday. .. “At this point, we don’t know how many doses our site will receive.”

“Mercy & Memorial Hospitals have taken steps to prepare for vaccine distribution, including ordering additional ultra-cold storage freezers for vaccines that require colder storage,” she continued.

Adventist Health, which has hospitals in Bakersfield and Tehachapi, said in an email that it was in the early stages of vaccination planning and did not know what the process would be like. Meanwhile, Bakersfield Heart Hospital said it is coordinating with local authorities to prepare for the vaccine deployment.

“Bakersfield Heart Hospital has been working with the Kern County Public Health Service on the COVID-19 vaccine planning process. Vaccine workers, essential workers, and community members when vaccines are available. We look forward to helping, “said a spokeswoman. Laura Savedra said in an email.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the supreme authority on the new coronavirus, has posted on its website that it is working with the health department and others to develop plans that can be implemented when the vaccine is approved by the federal government.

According to the CDC, safety is a top priority and will be widely available afterwards.

“The goal is to make the COVID-19 vaccine readily available to everyone as soon as it becomes available in large quantities,” the website said. “The plan is to make thousands of vaccination providers available, including clinics, retail pharmacies, hospitals, and federal-qualified medical centers.”

The CDC said public health professionals are working on plans to distribute doses “in a fair, ethical and transparent manner” as to who will be vaccinated first. He said he would make recommendations on how to proceed with vaccination based on the opinion of the Vaccination Implementation Advisory Board, which received the opinion of the National Academy of Science and Technology Medicine.

Vaccines may not be recommended for children initially and doses are provided free of charge, but healthcare providers can claim administrative fees that may be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or government agency.

The California Public Health Service announced a draft provisional plan in mid-October, stating that the main goal of the state’s Community Vaccine Advisory Board is to ensure that vaccination plans support all Californians. .. , African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other Asians, including Filipinos. “

The draft stated that expectations for the limited initial availability of the vaccine probably meant that the top priority would go to healthcare professionals treating patients with COVID-19. He later stated that he could be the health care worker most likely to be exposed to the virus. This is followed by people who are at increased risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, followed by “other essential workers”.

The county’s public health department said in an email last week that fair distribution and administration of vaccines is a “comprehensive principle” and is “the one with the highest risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19.” ..

Follow John Cox on Twitter: @TheThirdGraf

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