CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina health leaders have released details of the COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan for the first week of distribution.
All sites receiving Week 1 allocations are hospitals.
Officials say the 11 facilities receiving advance/early shipments are but a portion of the sites included in the week-1 distribution. The 11 facilities have sufficient ultra-cold-storage space to get and hold vaccine pending final authorization.
No site will be able to administer vaccine until after final FDA authorization and recommendations from the CDC on who the vaccine is appropriate for approval.
And for any reason, should the CDC recommendations be delayed, the first 11 facilities will have to continue to hold the vaccine.
After the CDC makes its recommendations, the manufacturer will begin shipping vaccines using dry ice to an additional 42 hospitals in the state. Officials say these hospitals were chosen based on bed capacity, health care workers and county population.
The federal government will determine how much vaccine will go to each state based on population.
North Carolina expects to receive 85,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in this first shipment. These will be shipped in batches of at least 975 doses.
So each location must be able to store this amount in ultra-cold storage or keep the shipping container refilled with dry ice for up to 30 days or use the doses within 10 to 15 days without refilling dry ice.
Officials say they do not yet know Week 2 allocations, so they do not have a list of hospitals that will receive Week 2 doses nor how many.
The list of hospitals is below:
Officials provided notes about the allocation:
- This is only week 1. Vaccine is expected to arrive in North Carolina during the week of Dec. 14.
- NC is only allocated 85,800 doses of Pfizer vaccine in Week 1 and they must be shipped in units of 975. Therefore, the state had 88 units.
- The allocation was based on acute + ICU beds and then a correction factor of both population and number of healthcare workers in the county to account for places with low hospital beds as compared to overall population.
- Of the 53 initial sites, 11 are the early ship sites. No site will be able to administer vaccine until after final authorization by both FDA and ACIP. After final ACIP authorization, likely within 24-48 hours, the remaining 42 week-one site allocations will ship from the manufacturer.
- This is just the first week’s allocation. Because of the minimum ship amounts of the Pfizer Vaccine, officials say they prioritized hospitals where the number of healthcare workers were greater. The Moderna vaccine will be distributed in minimum ship amounts of 100 units, allowing officials to further distribute to additional hospitals and local health departments. The goal has been to ensure vaccine is administered rapidly to those at risk of contracting COVID-19 or at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and minimize the risk of excess supply at any particular provider.
- Week 2 allocations will allow officials to get vaccine to more locations and every county in NC.
- In week 2, officials say they are expecting to receive both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.