Several pharmaceutical companies are nearing the approval phase for COVID-19 vaccines. While many Americans have questions about the vaccine, first responders on the front lines of the pandemic response have their own questions:
- How is distribution coordinated?
- What should we tell our communities?
- Who will pay for the vaccine?
- What is reimbursable?
- How will we be reimbursed?
Vaccine planning resources
The following materials will help to answer your questions:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations: information on planning and operations for vaccination response within your jurisdiction.
- 8 Things to Know About Vaccine Planning: easy answers to many people's questions about the vaccine.
- From the Factory to the Frontlines: in-depth information about the government's plans distribute the vaccine.
- COVID-19 Pandemic: Vaccination Planning Frequently Asked Questions: information on federal funding sources that may reimburse vaccination mission support activities.
Vaccine storage and handling will differ depending on the vaccine. Successful implementation requires close coordination across all levels of government and the private sector.
Response considerations for handling ultra-low temperature vaccines
Some vaccines pending approval need to be transported at low or ultra-low temperatures, around -109 degrees Fahrenheit. These vaccines will be transported and stored with dry ice, which presents several potential response concerns in the event of an accident or other related incident.
To understand the key response considerations around dry ice, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) released a White Paper on Dry Ice (Carbon Dioxide) Response. The paper provides information for the fire service and EMS personnel on scene management, personnel safety, storage information, health hazards and patient management.
Dry ice is made of carbon dioxide (CO2), a colorless, odorless gas. When dry ice sublimates from a solid state directly to a gas, it expands. Two situations could evolve from this:
- Expanding gas inside an enclosed transportation container could cause the container to leak or explode.
- CO2 expanding in a small room displaces oxygen and could cause people in the room to lose consciousness.
The IAFC stresses every attempt should be made to preserve the ultra-cold environment to protect the vaccine, and that the vaccines themselves are not harmful if accidentally released from broken containers.
This article is based on content in the
Dec. 3, 2020 InfoGram.
Other articles include:
- Firefighters face increased risk of atrial fibrillation
- PPE Preservation Planning Toolkit
- Cybersecurity threat and vulnerability updates
Featured InfoGram articles
- April 1, 2021
- Honoring public safety telecommunicators
- March 25, 2021
- Overcoming vaccine hesitancy within critical infrastructure
- March 18, 2021
- Researchers see need for long-range wildfire smoke warnings
- March 11, 2021
- New responder location-tracking technology successfully tested
- March 4, 2021
- Your role in safe air medical transport
- Feb. 25, 2021
- Ready Responder provides peace of mind for first responders
- Feb. 18, 2021
- Training for EMS COVID-19 vaccine delivery
- Feb. 11, 2021
- CDC virtual forum and guidance on COVID-19 vaccine programs
- Feb. 4, 2021
- February is for hearts: focus on your cardiovascular health
- Jan. 28, 2021
- Know your safety risks: electric vehicle battery fires
- Jan. 21, 2021
- Create your emergency plans using FEMA preparedness guides
- Jan. 14, 2021
- New tools assist wildfire detection and smoke forecasting
- Jan. 7, 2021
- Prepare now for vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices
- Dec. 17, 2020
- LAFD successfully deploys firefighting robot
- Dec. 10, 2020
- Creating effective communications for vaccine distribution
- Dec. 3, 2020
- Getting ready for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
- Nov. 19, 2020
- Measuring COVID-19's impact on first responder organizations
- Nov. 12, 2020
- NWCG updates wildland fire position qualification standards
- Nov. 5, 2020
- Securing soft targets and crowded places
- Oct. 29, 2020
- Wildfire challenges, risk reduction examined in new report
- Oct. 22, 2020
- Research study contains key findings for fire investigators
- Oct. 15, 2020
- InciWeb mapping resource helps communities prepare for wildfire
- Oct. 8, 2020
- Restaurant fire and life safety during COVID-19
- Oct. 1, 2020
- First responders: prepare for white powder incidents
- Sept. 24, 2020
- NIST survey reveals wildfire evacuation factors
- Sept. 17, 2020
- New LODD online course for incident commanders
- Sept. 10, 2020
- COVID-19 increases line-of-duty deaths
- Sept. 3, 2020
- Distributive Education limits for EMS recertification waived
- Aug. 27, 2020
- FAA changes rules for public safety drone flights
- Aug. 13, 2020
- 2020 Emergency Response Guidebook now available
- Aug. 6, 2020
- Reducing first responder risk at explosive device incidents
- July 30, 2020
- Prevent damage to fire department connections
- July 23, 2020
- Illegal grow houses put firefighters at risk
- July 16, 2020
- Resources to help identify counterfeit PPE
- July 9, 2020
- COVID-19 testing guidance for first responders