The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) continues to make progress with COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning efforts. Washington State Health Officer, Kathy Lofy, told a news conference Wednesday that the CDC will primarily manage COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
While we still do not know when a vaccine might be available, when a safe and effective vaccine is available, DOH will be prepared to deploy it in a manner that is equitable and timely for the people of Washington.
There are two national groups working on prioritization recommendations. One is the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the second is the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Both these groups have released draft recommendations on who will be offered the vaccine first. States may need to further prioritize groups to offer vaccine to because initially there may not have enough vaccine to cover all the highest priority groups.
Since there are a number of decisions that need to be made, DOH is engaging and coordinating with tribes, local government, community leaders, and others partners to develop and implement vaccination efforts.