Washington state laying the ground work for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

The CDC’s push to get vaccines out by November 1 is stirring up all types of reactions.

On Twitter, one man telling Q13 News on Thursday that he hopes it’s true. A woman said to count her in for the vaccine while others called it a rush job with political motivations.

There is no shortage of opinions but health experts say in the end it comes down to scientific data.

“This is an unprecedented set of activities that we’ve seen developing vaccines that has never been developed,” Professor Julie Swann at North Carolina State University said.

Swann says she was an advisor to the CDC back when H1N1 was going on under the Obama administration and she is now studying the COVID-19 vaccine trials underway.

“We have made tremendous progress at this point we are in phase 3 trials,” Swann said.

The federal government has made investments to produce several vaccines as the trials for them continue. If those trials prove the vaccines are effective and safe, the idea is to roll them out quickly.

“If it truly is very effective then of course we will all want to get it out,” Swann said.

But Swann says with November fast approaching she would be surprised to see vaccines ready on a large scale by then.

“I think if that happens it will very limited quantities I don’t think it will be widespread distribution, that will really come later,” Swann said.

Whatever the timeline ends up being, states are laying down the logistical framework now, including Washington.

“We’ve started the planning here based on potentially different scenarios that’s exactly what we should be doing,” Secretary of Health John Wiesman said.

States will have to prioritize the groups who will get the first limited batch of vaccines. That could come down to essential workers like in healthcare and the older population who are more vulnerable to the virus.

Wiesman also says they are working with hospitals and clinics to ensure a productive way to administer the vaccines to the masses when that time comes.  

Swann says what is most important is to provide sufficient data proving the safety and efficacy of the vaccines so people will line up to get it.

“We know that vaccines save lives every day, every year,” Swann said.