(CBS4) – The State of Colorado has outlined a plan on how to distribute a coronavirus vaccine, once one becomes available. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida weighed in on the plan during his weekly chat with CBSN Denver’s Makenzie O’Keefe.
“Our state is pretty much in line with what many other states are doing,” he said. “They have prioritized who should get vaccines. The reason for setting priority is the fact we’re not going to have vaccine for everybody.”
He points out starting on day one there simply will not be enough of the vaccine for everyone. The state has set up a tier system that also includes subgroups so the total division works out to about 16 groups.
“You start with the people who are health care workers, people who are directly involved with the care of people with COVID, they are deemed to at highest risk,” he explained.
From there the plan moves through first responders, nursing home, essential workers and then on to people who are 65 and older, those with pre-existing health conditions until it’s the people who are deemed healthy. Hnida said that realistically, it could take a year to reach that final group.
“There are a couple of issues. … First of all, we don’t know what vaccine we’re going to be using. There are going to be issues in terms of getting it to where it needs to be distributed and how it’s going to be administered. Is it going to be a vaccine that requires one dose or two?”
Hnida also explained the vaccine will have special requirements in how it’s handled.
“Most of the vaccines … will need to be kept at least 80 degrees below zero,” he said, “which means they require dry ice in order to keep the vaccine itself in a viable stage. Right now we have a shortage of dry ice in the country.”
“Even though you hear a vaccine is just around the corner and it’s going to be distributed, we are going to be doing things like masking and social distancing for some time.”