If and when an authorized COVID-19 vaccine arrives, the Veterans Affairs Department aims to be ready to distribute it.
VA announced Tuesday that it will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal partners to ensure the prompt development of a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
According to a press release, the plan will be a “phased approach based on scientific and historical evidence, lessons learned from past pandemic vaccine plans and input from scientific experts” within and outside VA.
“In October, staff at VA medical facilities conducted important planning exercises in preparation for the vaccine,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “These exercises help us to address vaccine distribution, allocation, safety monitoring and supply tracking.”
In recent weeks, two drugmakers—Pfizer and Moderna—have announced promising early results for possible vaccine candidates, though neither has yet received authorization by the Food and Drug Administration necessary for mass distribution.
According to VA, vaccine distribution would occur in two phases: an initial limited-supply phase and a general implementation phase, where larger supplies of the vaccine could be available to veterans who wish to receive it.