When a COVID-19 vaccine does become available, Delaware has a plan in place to handle the distribution.
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer on Monday began touting a vaccine it says is more than 90 percent effective, although there’s no indication yet when and how the company would release the vaccine to be used.
That hasn’t stopped people from talking about it, but the Delaware Department of Public Health pointed out that Pfizer was not announcing that the vaccine was ready for distribution.
“The company released early study results today indicating positive vaccine effectiveness results in the vaccine they are developing,” said Jennifer Brestel, a spokeswoman for the Delaware Division of Public Health. “This does not mean a vaccine is imminent, though. We would not be able to comment on any one vaccine over another, as vaccine development is still ongoing. ”
In Delaware, the state plans any release to be by priority group, according to previous comments by Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, and a post on its website.
Rattay is expected to talk about the plan again in Gov. John Carney’s weekly COVID-19 press conference. Watch or listen here.
Delawareans expected to receive any vaccine with critical populations and now are set to go in this order:
- Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home.
- Health care workers/First Responders/Public Health and Community Health support workers.
- Essential workers (as defined by Delaware State of Emergency declarations, Public Health Emergency declarations, etc.)
- Priority population groups identified most at risk (e.g., those in congregate settings, those who are immunocompromised, the elderly, minority populations, and those with high-risk chronic diseases).
The list is part of a plan submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The could change, Rattay has said, based on federal guidelines.
Many health officials say it could be well into 2021 or even 2022 before there’s enough vaccine to inoculate everyone on the planet who wants it, and there are still questions about how long any immunity would last and whether additional or annual shots would be necessary.