Health Policy Expert Says Collaboration Is Key In Vaccine Rollout
Phase 1a of the state’s vaccination plan focused on health care workers and long-term care staff and residents. Now, some areas are expanding that to include individuals who are over 75.
Dr. Mark McClellan is a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and currently is the director of the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University. He says this is the most complex undertaking in U.S. public health history for a variety of reasons. Those include the number of people needing to be vaccinated, the fact that the vaccines require two doses, and very specific instructions for storing and transporting the vaccine.
McClellan says that in order to speed things up efficiently, collaboration will be crucial.
“One of the main constraints right now is just bandwidth," he says. "Hospitals do not have a lot of staff that they can devote to expansive vaccination programs. They’re very stretched.”
Governor Cooper deployed the National Guard Tuesday to help with the vaccination process. McClellan suggests the state also partner with pharmacies and other primary care providers to aid distribution.
As of this week, over 100,000 North Carolinians had received their first dose of the vaccine. Over 400 have had both.