Coronavirus update: Latest Covid-19 vaccine and world news

State and local officials got draft plans for how the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will distribute Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine Friday, once it gets emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.

They can start ordering vaccines as soon as Sunday, said an official who has seen the plans.

FDA advisers recommended EUA on Friday and the FDA has said it will move ahead quickly with the decision.

On Sunday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to discuss and vote on recommendations for the vaccine. But the CDC is ready to go and has put its plans into Tiberius, the federal government’s software platform used for distributing Covid-19 vaccines.

“In anticipation of everything going as planned on Sunday with the ACIP group, allocations have already been put into Tiberius for shipments next week,” said Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive officer of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

She said 3.9 million doses will be available for ordering right away. “About 2.8 million will go to state and local jurisdictions; 800,000 to the retail pharmacy program,” Freeman told CNN. She added that 70,000 will go to community vaccine centers and 90,000 to the federally qualified health centers. Ordering can begin on Sunday. 

“For the initial week of distribution, orders will arrive one to two days after (they are) placed, and orders will be delivered by UPS or FedEx,” Freeman said. “The manufacturer information should be live after the EUA release, assuming that gets done tomorrow.”  

Freeman said the 3.9 million doses from Johnson & Johnson could add at least 25% more Covid-19 vaccination capacity for states — since currently 14.5 million doses are allocated per week to states, tribes, and territories and 3.9 million represents about 26.9% of that.

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