State provides first look at COVID-19 vaccination plans

State health officials have released a first look at Indiana’s plan for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine, whenever one becomes available.

The Indiana State Department of Health released its interim draft last Tuesday, and it indicates that a phased approach will be used to dole out the vaccine. Healthcare workers will be the first to get inoculated. That group includes employees at hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient facilities and pharmacies, as well as emergency medical service providers and anyone working with COVID-19 diagnostic and immunization teams.

Vulnerable groups, such as people 65 years or older and those with underlying health conditions, will follow.

The next phase of Indiana’s plan focuses on mitigating the virus’ spread by vaccinating people who can’t work from home, including teachers, food service workers, firefighters and police officers.

In the third phase, health officials anticipate distributing the vaccine publicly to all other Hoosiers. The timeline for doing so, however, remains unclear.

All states were required to submit similar draft distribution plans to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A vaccine has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. President Donald Trump promised during the closing presidential debate last Thursday that a vaccine would be ready in a matter of weeks.

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