VENICE — There’s still no definite date for the approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is readying a playbook for how to distribute it when it arrives.
The interim playbook, released Sept. 16, is predicated on the vaccine initially being in short supply. If that’s the case, it wouldn’t be available to the general public until Phase 2 of distribution.
That might not be until the second or third quarter of 2021, health officials say.
Phase 1 would be inoculations for health care personnel dealing with COVID-19 patients, then people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 because of underlying medical or age and “other essential workers,” the playbook states.
In Phase 3 the system would shift to a “routine” vaccination strategy in which shots would be widely available because there’s an adequate supply.
It’s expected that two shots several weeks apart will be required for maximum immunity.
The list of people that might be considered high risk is broad and could include people from racial and ethnic minority groups and tribal communities; people who are incarcerated or who are homelessness; people who work in educational settings; and people with limited access to routine vaccination services.
According to the New York Times, about 40 candidate vaccines are in clinical trials in humans, including nine in the third phase, when they’re tested for effectiveness.
By the numbers
The state reported 3,239 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the most in a week. It also reported 139 new deaths, although only two were reported to have occurred Thursday.
The state’s reported positivity rate was 4.18%, below 5% for the seventh straight day.
There were 45 new cases in Sarasota County, with 32 hospitalized as of Friday. Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 21 patients and Venice Regional Bayfront Health had seven.
There was one death in the county, at Venice Regional.
The county’s positivity rate was 2.48%; it’s been below 5% for more than two weeks.
The Sarasota County School District reported three new cases Wednesday, one Thursday and two Friday, bringing the total to 28.
One additional staff member, at Booker Middle School, tested positive; the other cases involved students.
One of the cases reported Wednesday was at Laurel Nokomis School, its second. No other South County school reported a new case through Friday’s numbers.
The district’s COVID-19 dashboard is at SarasotaCountySchools.net.