COVID 19 Information
COVID - 19 Coronavirus
The Arkansas Department of Health has activated a call center to answer questions from health care providers and the public about the novel coronavirus. During normal business hours (8:00am – 4:30pm), urgent and non-urgent calls, please call 1-800-803-7847. After normal business hours, urgent calls needing immediate response, please call 501-661-2136. You can also stay up-to-date on the number of cases in Arkansas as well as frequently asked questions by going to this link: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus
Trump Administration Releases COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DoD) today released two documents outlining the Trump Administration’s detailed strategy to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people as quickly and reliably as possible.
The documents, developed by HHS in coordination with DoD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provide a strategic distribution overview along with an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their respective jurisdictions.
“As part of Operation Warp Speed, we have been laying the groundwork for months to distribute and administer a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it meets FDA’s gold standard,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This in-depth, round-the-clock planning work with our state and local partners and trusted community organizations, especially through CDC, will ensure that Americans can receive a safe and effective vaccine in record time.”
The strategic overview lays out four tasks necessary for the COVID-19 vaccine program:
Engage with state, tribal, territorial, and local partners, other stakeholders, and the public to communicate public health information around the vaccine and promote vaccine confidence and uptake.
Distribute vaccines immediately upon granting of Emergency Use Authorization/ Biologics License Application, using a transparently developed, phased allocation methodology and CDC has made vaccine recommendations.
Ensure safe administration of the vaccine and availability of administration supplies.
Monitor necessary data from the vaccination program through an information technology (IT) system capable of supporting and tracking distribution, administration, and other necessary data.
On August 14, CDC executed an existing contract option with McKesson Corporation to support vaccine distribution. The company also distributed the H1N1 vaccine during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010. The current contract with McKesson, awarded as part of a competitive bidding process in 2016, includes an option for the distribution of vaccines in the event of a pandemic.
“CDC is drawing on its years of planning and cooperation with state and local public health partners to ensure a safe, effective, and life-saving COVID-19 vaccine is ready to be distributed following FDA approval,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “Through the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, CDC will play a vital role in deciding, based on input from experts and stakeholders, how initial, limited vaccine doses will be allocated and distributed while reliably producing more than 100 million doses by January 2021.”
Detailed planning is ongoing to ensure rapid distribution as soon as the FDA authorizes or approves a COVID-19 vaccine and CDC makes recommendations for who should receive initial doses. Once these decisions are made, McKesson will work under CDC’s guidance, with logistical support from DoD, to ship COVID-19 vaccines to administration sites.
“The Department of Defense is using its world-class logistical expertise to plan for distributing a safe and effective vaccine at warp speed,” said General Gustave Perna. “Americans can trust that our country’s best public health and logistics experts are working together to get them vaccines safely as soon as possible.”
COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN)
The COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health to respond to the global pandemic. The mission of the CoVPN is to conduct Phase 3 efficacy trials for COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. The CoVPN will work to develop and conduct studies to ensure rapid and thorough evaluation of US government-sponsored COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for the prevention of COVID-19 disease. If you are interested in volunteering for a COVID-19 clinical trial - click here
The Vaccine Education Center at CHOP is pleased to announce that we now have a Q&A page dedicated to answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines. CovidVaccineAnswers.org points to a page on the VEC site where people can get answers or submit questions. Current sections on the page include:
Types of COVID-19 vaccines
COVID-19 vaccine studies
COVID-19 vaccine availability
COVID-19 vaccine safety
COVID-19 vaccine news
Researchers around the world are developing more than 165 vaccines against the coronavirus, and 27 vaccines are in human trials. Vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinic, but scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective vaccine by next year. The New York Times has created a Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker that updates in real time the status of the vaccines being tested. Click here for the link: NYT Vaccine Tracker
Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are similar. Know your symptoms. If you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or develop symptoms, please seek medical advice.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has created this infographic to help stop the spread of the flu and COVID-19.