Newsom announced California's plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

COVID-19 vaccine makers sign pledge not to rush vaccine
Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 17:28:20-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif.  — Earlier today Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state's plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The plan includes a partnership between the state of California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Defense.

This makes California one of 5 jurisdictions in the United States to move forward with advanced planning for vaccine distribution.

What this means is that after the Federal Drug Administration approves a COVID-19 vaccine. State experts will step in and do their own screening of the vaccine before it's distributed to the public.

"A question I often get is 'are you going to take someone's word for it as it relates to vaccines?' Of course, we don't take anyone's word for it. We will do our own independently reviewed process with our world-class experts," said Governor Newsom.

With White House officials anticipating a COVID-19 vaccine in November or December, California is coming up with its own distribution game plan, according to Governor Gavin Newsom.

"California today, is launching now more formally a scientific safety review, a workgroup of 11 individuals, experts in their field. These are top health experts that will independly review any FDA approved vaccines," said Newsom.

Governor Newsom says those experts will monitor the safety, equity, and transparency of the distribution of the vaccine in the state.

Reporter: "Just to clarify, are you saying that no COVID-19 vaccine at all will be distributed in California either through public health or private health care systems until the state reviews and approves it?"

Newsom: "Correct"

Newsom also announced a plan for distribution saying, when a vaccine is approved the state will have a very limited supply. Newsom anticipates between one and two million vaccines available in the first phase.

As a result, some groups will be prioritized before others.

Essential workers and first responders will be first to get the vaccine. The next will go to "those 65 and over, those in skilled nursing facilities, long term care facilities throughout the state, not only skilled nursing facilities, but residential care facilities, those with disabilities, those that are detained or otherwise incarcerated and obviously those that are often underserved," said Newsom.

In a statement to 23ABC News, the Kern County Public Health Department said, "while we do not have details on exactly how the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be distributed throughout the country, we anticipate that public health will be involved in organizing, allocating, and administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Just as we currently do for the flu vaccine, we will work with our community partners to make the vaccine available throughout the community."

The governor also said that the state's plan would stand firm to monitor the vaccine despite the outcome of the presidential election. Again, once a vaccine is available, it would not be distributed throughout California until the state's experts screen it and approve it.