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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

NC Has Until Friday To Submit Its Coronavirus Vaccine Plan To CDC

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North Carolina has until Friday to submit a plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for how it will distribute a coronavirus vaccine once one is authorized. The CDC has asked all U.S. states to submit coronavirus vaccine plans by Oct. 16.

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services is “in the process” of completing its written plan, agency spokespersonAmy Ellis said in an email.

“We anticipate no issues submitting the plan on time,” Ellis wrote.

North Carolina Health and Human Services is using the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook, a framework issued by the CDC on Sept. 16, for guidance.

The federal agency has said that there may be a limited supply of coronavirus vaccines once one is authorized. It encouraged local health departments to initially prioritize healthcare workers like vaccinators, pharmacy staff, school nurses and emergency management workers to receive vaccines. It also suggested vaccinating people early who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, like nursing home residents or people 65 years of age and older.

People at increased risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus could also be prioritized for vaccines, such as people who are in prison, people experiencing homelessness or college students.

The CDC playbook said state and local health departments should try to find central locations to administer the vaccines, like large hospital systems or community health centers.

As of Monday afternoon, it was not clear when a coronavirus vaccine might be authorized and available. The CDC guidance listed three possible scenarios it said health departments should plan for, including one in which 2 million doses of a vaccine would be ready by the end of October and between 10 and 20 million doses would be ready by the end of November.

The agency said which states receive initially available supplies of vaccines will be based on “multiple factors,” including the “current local spread/prevalence of COVID-19.”