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Interim COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
Summary of Minnesota's draft COVID-19 vaccination plan that was directed by CDC. Minnesota, and all other states, were required to submit this plan to CDC. COVID-19 vaccine planning will continue to change as we learn more information about the potential COVID-19 vaccines.
PDF format for print:
Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccination Plan: Executive Summary - Draft (PDF)
The purpose of Minnesota's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is to provide a framework for the effective distribution and use of pandemic COVID-19 vaccine. A vaccine will only be used if it is determined to be safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Vaccine supply and epidemiology of the pandemic will determine response priorities, so the plan is designed to be flexible and scalable.
Phased Approach to COVID-19 Vaccination
The COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy will adjust as the amount of vaccine doses increases, moving from targeted groups to broader populations in a phased approach. There will be limited doses in the first phase of vaccine availability (Phase 1) and vaccination activities will be targeted through local and regional public health plans to specific settings (i.e., not open to the public) that serve priority populations. Federal guidance for priority populations will be defined by ACIP once the FDA approves a vaccine for use in the U.S. In Phase 2, vaccine supply will increase enough to start to meet demand and vaccine will be broadly administered through a network, including clinics, pharmacies, and public health sites. Phase 2 represents a time when priority groups will continue to be served by this expanded network and opportunities will begin to open up for general public vaccination. In Phase 3, vaccine will be available in surplus amounts and a strategy for routine distribution will be adopted.
CDC's ACIP, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are working to determine critical populations for COVID-19 vaccination, including those priority groups identified to receive the first available doses of vaccine when supply is expected to be limited. The MDH COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Advisory Group will then recommend guiding principles for a vaccine allocation framework that assures the federal recommendations fit Minnesota's needs. Local and state public health authorities will prioritize describing and locating the Phase 1 initial populations of focus, as these groups will be the first to be vaccinated.
COVID-19 Vaccination Provider Recruitment and Enrollment
Strong partnerships with vaccination providers will be key to a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign. We will approach provider recruitment and enrollment in an incremental way to ensure that we have access for priority populations first and then move on to enrolling a broader group of providers. Our website houses a survey that providers can complete to indicate their interest in enrolling in the COVID-19 vaccine program. Data from the survey will be used to prioritize which providers to engage first. We will use layered mapping techniques to ensure that there is a good geographic match between priority populations and enrolled providers receiving initial doses of vaccine.
COVID-19 Vaccine Storage and Handling
Proper storage and handling practices are critical to minimize vaccine loss and limit the risk of administering COVID-19 vaccine that is less effective. Strategies will include working with staff at each COVID-19 vaccination provider site to ensure appropriate vaccine storage and handling procedures are established and followed. Work has begun with the regional health care coalitions to assess ultra-cold storage facilities and availability for securing dry ice in large quantities across the state. An addendum to CDC's Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit that specifically addresses COVID-19 vaccines is currently being developed, in addition to other training materials, and will be communicated to all vaccine providers as part of vaccine education.
COVID-19 Vaccination Second-Dose Reminders
Reminders for second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be vitally important to ensuring adequate protection against the virus among vaccine recipients. Minnesota's immunization information system, known as MIIC, will be used to produce reminder notices. Using this feature of MIIC, providers can create a mailing or can get contact information to allow for other types of follow-up (phone calls or text messages). MDH will provide trainings and user guidance documents on the reminder notice feature of MIIC.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Communication
There will be a broad public information campaign through web content, social media, news outlets, and direct outreach to share information about who can be vaccinated, when, and what might be coming next. Existing relationships with partner and community organizations will be leveraged to help reach key audiences with information about COVID-19 vaccine. To build trust and encourage cooperation with our recommendations, communications will be respectful of people's concerns and recognize that different communities will have different needs for information.
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Monitoring
The MDH vaccine response will track adverse events related to COVID-19 vaccine in order to ensure vaccine safety and adequate adverse event follow-up. Since adverse events are collected and analyzed by CDC, the role of MDH includes assisting CDC in the follow-up of any serious adverse event, education and communication about adverse event reporting to immunizers, and sharing data about adverse events as appropriate.
COVID-19 Vaccination Program Monitoring
Data on provider enrollment, critical populations, vaccine distribution, and doses administered will be used to continuously assess needs in vaccine outreach and education. In pre-vaccine and early phases, this information will direct efforts to engage providers in areas of the state and types of practices most likely to vaccinate priority groups. During the vaccination phases, we will use the data to indicate where more outreach and education may need to be focused. For example, an indicator for more outreach or education would include areas of the state where there is a large inventory of vaccine and low uptake.