The CNMI expects to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines this morning, Dec. 17, 2020.
According to a Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. statement early last night, the vaccines, which the Food and Drug Administration authorized last Friday for emergency use, started being shipped to all 50 states and U.S. territories early this week. The vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, is to be given in two doses, 21 days apart.
The first shipment of vaccines will be administered to CHCC staff, responder agencies, and private clinics providing health-related services, including dental, hemodialysis, pharmacy, behavioral, home care, optometry, physical therapy and rehabilitation. Individuals included in this group should expect registration information from CHCC.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to everyone living in the CNMI through a three-phased approach. In line with the CNMI’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, approved by Operation Warp Speed and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the CNMI implementation plan will be (based on recommended guidance for priority and vaccine availability):
-Phase 1: An estimated 1,600 people working in health care settings, first responder agencies, and vulnerable populations.
-Phase 2: Expanding to essential workers and the general population. The essential worker population includes but is not limited to: Private pharmacy staff, instructional staff of the Public School System, PSS school support staff, PSS school administrators, and child care workers.
-Phase 3: Continuation of general population and possible vaccination opportunity for children under the age of 15.
As the CNMI COVID-19 Vaccination plans are operationalized, the CHCC outpatient clinics and hospital services will continue to be available as normal.
For more information about the CNMI’s COVID-19 Vaccine efforts visit www.VaccinateCNMI.com. (PR)