COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is now releasing weekly updates on its website regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The following is the update from Wednesday, Dec. 9.

The next step is for the vaccines to gain Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer and Moderna have both applied for an EUA and a review is scheduled with the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Dec. 10 for Pfizer and Dec. 17 for Moderna. The FDA Brief on the Pfizer vaccine can be viewed: www.fda.gov/media/144245/download.

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Dec. 1 and voted on recommendations for allocation of COVID-19 vaccine to be used in the initial phase. Their recommendations are for states to target health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities initially.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are each expected to be a two-dose series, with the second vaccine needed 21 to 28 days after administration of the first dose. The vaccines will not initially be for children (those under 18) or pregnant women.

Kansas News

In Kansas, public health has been working on preparing and strategizing for distribution of the vaccine for several months. The Vaccine Plan can be viewed online.

Kansas is expected to receive nearly 24,000 doses in the first shipment of the vaccine, which will come from Pfizer. The shipment is expected to be received in mid-December. Additional vaccine is expected the following week, with upwards of 150,000 doses expected by the end of the month.

The initial vaccine distribution will be geared towards healthcare providers and long-term care residents, in line with CDCís ACIP recommendations. The initial vaccine distribution and administration activities are anticipated last through January at the earliest.

As far as when other groups of individuals will receive the vaccine, we are still receiving guidance from the federal government, who is supplying the vaccine. We will make this information public as soon as we are able. Vaccine for the general public is not anticipated until late spring/early summer.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandated by the state of Kansas. The vaccine itself is free but providers may assess an administration fee. However, no one may be turned away for inability to pay that administration fee.

In the United States, there is not yet an authorized or approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.

The Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to pre-positioned locations equipped for ultra cold storage throughout Kansas. Due to security reasons, KDHE will not disclose the locations of these facilities. From these locations, vaccine will be distributed broadly to provide vaccine coverage to healthcare workers. The Moderna vaccine, once it is received, will not require ultra-cold storage and will be dispersed more widely.