Record-keeping requirements will also be an overwhelming task, officials said. The CDC wants to track, in real time, the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of all those vaccinated – states typically provide this data quarterly, at best – so that it can analyze the extent to which Immunization campaign takes place among different demographic groups day and make adjustments if certain populations or regions have low immunization rates. The CDC, which holds frequent planning calls with state and local health officials, also works to persuade states to pass on the personal data of their citizens. In its data use agreement with states, the agency requested the name, date of birth, address, race, ethnicity and some medical history of each vaccine recipient.
“States have never had to report this to the federal government,” said JT Lane, head of population health and innovation for the Association of State and Territory Health Officials, adding that his organization wanted to know exactly how the information would be used. . In particular, members of the organization fear that the information could be used by immigration and customs control services to track undocumented immigrants.
As soon as the FDA approves a vaccine, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet to make recommendations, already underway, on how it should be distributed. He will almost certainly say that healthcare workers should be the group with the highest priority for immunization, followed by essential service workers, people with high-risk health conditions, and people over the age of 65. years.
But states will have some flexibility within these guidelines; Maryland, for example, plans to include its prison and prison populations in its “Phase 1” priority group. State officials also need to determine who to focus on in priority populations if they receive fewer vaccines than they need.
At the CDC’s advisory committee meeting last month, some members said they wanted to make sure information on any safety issues was made public quickly. The Department of Health and Human Services said its goal was to start shipping a vaccine within one day of FDA clearance. So far, the FDA and CDC have maintained a data system that allows patients or providers to report bad reactions to vaccines. They plan to supplement this system with a smartphone-based tool that checks with people who have been vaccinated to see if they have had any health issues.
The CDC advisory group also stressed the importance of a campaign to persuade the public to get vaccinated, noting that the messages would likely be more effective if they came from community leaders than the federal government. North Carolina says its campaign will use “photos, videos and personal testimonials from celebrities, leaders of historically marginalized populations and other trusted messengers receiving the vaccine as early adopters.”