Arizona health officials submit ‘draft’ COVID-19 vaccination plan to CDC

Posted at 10:11 AM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 23:15:26-04

PHOENIX — Arizona health officials have submitted their draft COVID-19 vaccination plan to the Centers for Disease Control that unveils how state leaders will roll out a vaccine.

ABC15 received a copy of the draft vaccination plan through a public records request this week.


The plan details how health leaders will plan to roll out a vaccine, how they will identify critical populations, and how providers will be recruited and enrolled for the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the documents, the state has worked to build a Vaccine Task Force that is made up of "multiple external stakeholders with a wide array of expertise."

Arizona state leaders have not given consistent public updates on the COVID-19 fight, but documents detail how often health officials are meeting.

RELATED: Arizona COVID-19 cases are rising, so where do we stand?

“Throughout the COVID-19 response, ADHS will continue to host twice-weekly meetings with local health officers and once-weekly meetings with local response staff responsible for emergency preparedness, epidemiology and vaccine functions,” the draft plan states.

The draft version of the plan details the distribution plan for prioritized target groups that shows the vaccine distributor will pass the vaccine to Arizona’s 15 health departments, and participating Tribal facilities. Those local health leaders will be responsible for allocating a vaccine by priority. The priorities will include pharmacies, long-term care facilities, pre-designated clinics or hospital locations, then prioritized target groups, and lastly the general population.

ADHS has developed a detailed Priority Populations Worksheet based on the CDC’s COVID-19 recommendations that includes key government leaders, telecommunications, utility service workers, teachers, school personnel, and others.

“Information on critical populations will be provided by ADHS in partnership with other state agencies, county health departments, professional boards and associations,” the plan states.

The plan shows that the state is beginning to onboard providers that would be part of distributing the vaccine, but the initial information shows there is little access outside of Maricopa and Pima counties.

The onboarding tool, called the REDCap system, was launched in September with over 250 providers in the first two weeks of the launch.

According to the documents, ADHS says providers will have to complete all the steps within onboarding.

ADHS sent an email to key stakeholders and partners explaining the purpose of the tool and how to complete the onboarding process. The tool will be updated to ensure all current provider agreement parts are accurately captured. In order for an entity to receive an allocation of COVID-19 vaccine from the state, they must complete all required steps within the onboarding tool.

As of the date of this plan, ADHS writes that there are 500 providers across Arizona's 15 counties.

However, providers will have strict requirements that include "extreme shipping" and "storage requirements" for the first anticipated vaccine.

“Additionally, the extreme shipping and storage requirements for the first anticipated vaccine (Scenario A) will drive decision making when determining provider types and settings,” the plan states.

Along with the storage requirements, providers will have to provide proof of cold storage capacity.

ADHS leaders wrote in the document that some providers are concerned about the number of doses that must be done each week. “However, it is important to note that, based on information reported by onboarded providers, most do not have the ability to administer 1,000 doses or more of vaccine per week.”

It is unclear at this time who the providers are that have been part of the onboarding process.

This draft version was submitted last week as every state was required to submit their plans.

ABC15 will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.