02 Dec ISDH and CDC Announce Vaccine Priorities
As of December 2, two pharmaceutical companies have received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA for COVID-19 vaccines. It is our understanding that supplies of these vaccines will be distributed to states through various federal agencies with the first phase of administration, hopefully taking place by the end of the year. If you have not already received it, you and other licensed health care providers will likely soon receive information from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) regarding COVID vaccines.
Both the CDC and ISDH have emphasized that residents and caregivers in long-term care facilities will take top priority for the first round of vaccine distribution, given that residents of these facilities comprise a heavily disproportionate percentage of COVID deaths. Other high priority populations include patients and caregivers in hospitals, home health care settings, pharmacies, dialysis centers, emergency medical services, frontline public health interventions, and COVID-19 diagnostic and immunization teams. Below are several key points about vaccine distribution:
- At this point it is unclear how many doses of the vaccine Indiana will receive for the first phase of administration. The number of available doses will obviously affect who receives the vaccines and when.
- Updates on vaccine availability and priorities will be distributed through the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) and the IDA.
- Currently there is no guidance on whether all employees of a health care facility are considered high priority for the COVID vaccine, or if only those who provide direct care to patients will be included among the first round of vaccines.
- There will be no charge to receive the vaccine but administrators may require insurance information for administration purposes.
- The approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, each several weeks apart.
While the news is encouraging, it will be some time before we know when the vaccines will be available for dentists. For updated information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the ISDH website or the CDC COVID-19 vaccine information page.