Transcript for These are the key components of a vaccine distribution plan
Joining us now is Dr. Nirav shah, CDC director for the state of Maine. Dr. Shah, good morning to you. Thanks so much for speaking with us. I want to dive right in here because the deadline was yesterday for states to finalize their plans for where doses of the pfizerne will be sent. The modern deadline next Friday. Tell us about the key components of your plan in Maine and how confident are you that it will work. The two key components that we used, as we were thinking about where we should divert or pre-position the first doses of vaccine were as follows, we looked for hospitals where, one, there was the requisite ultra cold storage capacity and, two, the ability to make sure that they can vaccinate large numbers of their staff very quickly. Our guiding principles for these first week or two of vaccines are to vaccinate the most vulnerable folks in our state as well as the people who care for them. Health care providers. We've got a high dree of confidence in our plan even though we know it will be a gargantuan task. We know there are a lot of moving parts here. Is there a date circled when you hope people will get the first shots? We've been told by our eagues at "Operation warp speed" and the U.S. CDC to be ready to receive vaccine as soon as the week of December 14th. Of course, there are many unknown variables there such as if or when the U.S. Fda authorizes it and what the transport time may be. But our view this is like a relay race and any time you're passing off thn to one person for the other, the first person in line has got to start running. We're starting to run so whenever the baton hits us we're ready to take off. Good way to put it. You've been very vocal about the need for the federal government to step up and provide more funding to the states for vaccine distribution. You said this, quote, without those additional resources, it will be like putting up tent poles without having a tent. What do you mean by that? What is still needed? This will again be such a monumental logistical and communications task. The more resources that we can have from the federal government, those will enable us to achieve our goals of vaccinating with velocity and equity that much more quickly an effectively. Additional funding or resources are really needed to do things like makre we have a sufficient number of vaccinators. Making sure that we got the write I.T. Systems to keep track and remind people of when they need to get the second dose. Ensuring we have resources to set up the types of vaccine clinics you're showing on the screen now and making sure that we've got a plan in place to ensure we can communicate with folks. All of those things don't happen by accident. They happen because they were sufficiently resourced and planned through and that's where we are right now. Quickly just to follow up, though, do you feel like you're getting those resources or, if you don't get what you need, could there be delays? We'll get the job done either way. That's what my department, what my agency do on an every single day basis. We come in and achieve what seems like the impossible. So we'll get it done. I've spoken personally with members of our congressional delegation to advocate for the need for additional resources. We've communicated that to the administration right now. We understand that there are discussions in the works. But right now, it's nearing the critical phase. We want to again make sure that as soon as the baton gets handed to us we're ready to run. So much riding on this. Dr. Shah, thank you so much for your time this morning. We appreciate it. Thank you for having me.
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