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Response to questions about vaccine distribution plans

Categories: Health & safety, Vaccine

From: Russell Furr, associate vice provost, Environmental Health & Safety

To: The Stanford Community

In recent days, members of our community have been asking about vaccine distribution plans. Over the last two weeks, the FDA has granted Emergency Use Authorization to two vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19. Stanford Health Care began vaccinating healthcare workers last week with the first of these vaccines to be granted the EUA, following guidelines set by the California Department of Public Health. As of December 22nd, 5,940 Stanford healthcare workers have been vaccinated, and Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health are confident that all of their healthcare workers will be offered a vaccine by the end of January 2021.

There is currently no information available as to when the vaccine will be available for the broader community and no guidelines have been set regarding allocation beyond those groups prioritized in this first phase (CDC Phase Ia). The Santa Clara County Public Health Department is currently planning for more widespread availability of the vaccine and distribution to healthcare providers, who will vaccinate their patients as they become eligible under state guidelines.

We know that many members of our community are anxious to know more about when the vaccines will be more widely available and when different populations on campus may have access to them. As with this first phase of vaccine allocation, we expect that the state will set allocation and prioritization guidelines for subsequent CDC phases and, along with California counties, will be primarily responsible for distribution and allocation.

There is no clarity yet as to whether we or other universities will play a role in vaccinating our community. We will work closely with the county and SHC to ensure we are prepared for any aspects of vaccine distribution or administration that will be asked of us.  We will keep the community informed as more information becomes available.