Alexandria Health Department releases vaccine distribution plan

Virginia

Although priority will be determined at the national and state level, the vaccine will likely go to healthcare workers, first responders and folks at high risk first.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — More than 150 attempts at a coronavirus vaccine and 27 human trials are underway. Meanwhile, the Alexandria Health Department has adapted its public health emergency plan, which the medical director of health says was already in place.

“With anything when there is limited supply, there’s got to be a prioritization,” said Dr. Stephen Haering.

Although priority will be determined at the national and state level, Dr. Haering says the vaccine will likely go to healthcare workers, first responders and folks at high risk first. “Advance in age and certain medical conditions put these people at higher risk for needing hospitalization or needing an ICU bed or ventilation,” he said.

Locally, AHD will develop so-called “closed pods” to get vaccines out to healthcare workers and long term care facilities. “We would provide them a large body that would serve their entire healthcare worker force,” Haering said. Eventually, AHD would vaccinate the public through “open pods.”

“One of the things that we know is that it’s going to take some time for the body to grow immune. There’s some discussion that some of the vaccines actually might require a second shot,” said Dr. Haering. Meanwhile, the public should continue teleworking when possible, social distancing, wearing masks, and diligently sanitizing.

“Those measures are going to continue to be in place for some time, maybe months, even after a vaccine is available,” he said.

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