NC COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Underway

October 9, 2020

While it’s still uncertain exactly when a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for distribution, the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) vaccination planning team has been working with a variety of stakeholder organizations, including the NCMS, on building a NC COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign Plan.

Along with providing information and guidance to local, state and tribal partner agencies, the state plan will be the framework to accomplish the overall mission of vaccinating every North Carolinian who wishes to receive the vaccine. The plan is currently working its way through the executive review process with an Oct. 16 deadline for final submission to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

NCDHHS’ planning team has been encouraging local health departments to form local planning teams that should include providers within their community. If you would like to be engaged in this work, please contact your local health department.

All providers wishing to receive and administer COVID-19 Vaccine once it becomes available, will have to sign a COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. NCDHHS is currently working on incorporating this legal agreement provided by the CDC into an electronic enrollment process. NCDHHS will soon begin enrolling providers, starting with local health departments and hospitals first and then expanding to others. More information about how and when providers can begin to enroll will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, here is a graphic from the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed illustrating the vaccine distribution process. Also, this document outlines the CDC’s vaccination planning assumptions.

Over 125 vaccines are currently in development with over 25 in currently running clinical trials. Two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in other countries (Russia and China), however none are currently approved for use in the US. Six manufacturers already have federal contracts for vaccine purchase when the vaccines are approved.