Comment Period Ends Next Friday: We Need to Focus Next Week & Get Comments in to Ensure Health Equity is Included

With the Phase II vaccination clinical trials showing promising results and Phase III trials well underway, it’s time to develop a comprehensive state plan for the equitable prioritization and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona. The plan will need to set priorities for the early doses as well as outline the logistical details of its distribution. Fortunately, there is a new national report that can help Arizona officials think through Arizona’s priority populations.

The National Academies of Medicine just published that report which is entitled Preliminary Framework for the Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. The report part is part of a study commissioned by the NIH and CDC. The Guiding Principles that the team used is on Page 15 and the priority populations are outlined starting on page 22. The proposed Tier 1 populations include:

  • Front-line healthcare workers

  • Emergency services workers

  • Public health workers

  • Vaccine manufacturers

  • Immunization teams

  • Persons with high-risk conditions (e.g. seniors)

  • Long-term care workers

  • Persons performing core societal functions (e.g. front-line public transit, food supply, schools)

The report doesn’t provide any guidance for sub-prioritization of Tier 1 populations. Sub-prioritization of Tier 1 populations will be necessary in a final report or in any state plan, as there will not be adequate vaccine at the beginning for all of the Tier 1 populations.

A public listening session will be held tomorrow (Sept. 2) from 9 a.m – 2 p.m. AZ Time. The listening session requires registration. More information about the public comment period is available here.

The initial written comment period will ONLY be open from Sept. 1-4 so we will need to work quickly next week to get our comments in. Hopefully many of our members can listen in and develop thoughts about the initial plan- with a lens to ensuring it includes health equity. Let’s post those comments on our policy committee Basecamp this upcoming week so we can get comments in by Friday.