On September 16, 2020 the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. The plan was developed in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The agencies released the plan in the form of a brief report to Congress outlining a strategic overview of the plan, and an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial and local public health programs to begin operationalizing a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their respective jurisdictions.
The strategy overview and jurisdictional playbook were developed as a part of an initiative called Operation Warp Speed (OWS), a multi-agency federal partnership led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that has been tasked with organizing efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and other countermeasures including diagnostics and therapeutics. The goal of this initiative, as outlined by HHS, is to “deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021”.
HHS and OWS are seeking to finalize planning for production and distribution of the vaccine as early as possible, so that they may begin distribution immediately following FDA approval and authorization.
NACo has summarized the contents of the CDC playbook in a new brief that highlights key considerations for counties as they work with states and other local jurisdictions to prepare their vaccine distribution plans.