Planning for COVID-19 vaccine when available is causing state and local health departments a lot of angst these days. COVID-19 vaccine planning, normal routine vaccine administration and the impending onslaught of influenza have been heralded as the triple threat for jurisdictions to combat in the coming months… and they are very focused on these threats, though in many different ways. Regardless of the approach, there seem to be a number of different elements for any jurisdiction to consider. These include:
There is a global race for the development of a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Finding a vaccine that works and receives approval is only part of the process. There are a series of other steps that need to be taken so that the vaccine can be delivered. These include the mass production of the vaccine, shipment, administration and record-keeping. This may be even more complex as there may be several vaccines.
In this article we review some of these issues with a particular focus on the United States.
On August 10-11, 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) held its summer Tech Forum (see full agenda). This was a change in focus and format from their annual Interoperability Forum that has been held for the past several years. This year the forum was held virtually for the first time. The purpose of the forum was to convene industry experts and Federal partners to discuss technical innovations in health information technology and their potential impacts on the healthcare ecosystem. Senior ONC staff moderated the sessions, and I saw many of the “usual suspects” as well as some new faces presenting.
Dr. Noam Arzt, President of HLN, recorded a session for the NACCHO360 Virtual Conference available during the week of July 6 for registered attendees in the Information and Technology track. Titled, “Interoperability Update for Public Health: What’s In Store for the Coming Decade,” this talk reviews major developments in healthcare interoperability that will affect public health over the coming years.