Ohio’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

On October 6, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) announced its plans for the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Program. Currently ODH has a working framework for the program in which health care experts, provider organizations, and local leaders will offer input and logistical planning. ODH officials are still working on certain sections of the framework such as allocation, distribution, shipment, metrics, data reporting and critical population segmentation. This framework is a document has been already submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but can be updated over time as vaccines continue to develop, stakeholders offer input, and logistics are identified.

The CDC doesn’t know when the vaccine(s) will be available, possibly mid-November.

ODH also mentioned some assumptions and facts about the vaccine. Some assumptions include:

  • The CDC doesn’t know when the vaccine(s) will be available, possibly mid-November.
  • There is a tentative three phase approach based on the number of doses available. The following steps are the phases for vaccine distribution:
    • During phase 1, it is expected that a limited number of doses will be allocated.
    • In phase 2, a large number of doses will be available.
    • Lastly in phase 3, there should be enough doses for use.
  • It is uncertain which of the vaccines will be available or how quickly the supply will meet demands after phase 1.
  • The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) with help from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are considering suggestions on who might obtain early doses of the vaccine if the supply is limited.

Although there are assumptions about the details within the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccine Program, some aspects are already established. Currently, the CDC is collaborating with CVS and Walgreens to provide on-site COVID-19 vaccination services for inhabitants of nursing homes and assisted-living settings. This program will be free of charge for these facilities. Moreover, individuals will likely need to take at least two doses of the vaccine. Lastly, in order for providers to administer COVID-19 vaccines, they will need to electronically enroll through the OHID website. Providers must sign forms and provide a Terminal Distributor License (TDDD) number. In addition, ODH will check whether the providers have completed training on how to administer COVID-19 vaccines. During this planning period, scientists and providers should think about how the public might respond once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available. They will need to ensure that the new vaccines will be safe and necessary, which will be a challenge when some people already don’t believe in vaccine use and there is, historically, mistrust about medicine usage on marginalized groups.