The FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is meeting today, December 10, 2020 — to consider approving the first COVID-19 vaccine use in the U.S. The committee will consider emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine with final FDA approval coming as early as Friday.

The Pfizer-BioNTech group is requesting an “emergency use authorization,” shy of a full approval. The vaccine is desperately needed as public health experts warn virus cases will continue to climb. As of December 10th, the U.S. has reported more than 15.3millioncases and 289,000deaths,according to Johns Hopkins University data.

As the first vaccines start rolling out, each state will be required to manage the vaccine distribution process to ensure targeted populations, health care workers, nursing home patients, etc. are able to receive the initial doses.

In today’s podcast episode of Disaster Recovery Roundtable, Tidal Basin’s CEO Daniel Craig says the biggest challenge for states will be managing the vaccine program. “It’s great news that we have approved vaccinations in such a short time since COVID first impacted the U.S.,” Craig remarked. “Case management and scheduling needs to be planned by each state to ensure the paperwork is completed by those scheduled to take the vaccine to provide a platform to communicate with the public to ensure the pharma companies and the Federal government receive feedback and necessary data on the effectiveness of the vaccine,” said Craig.

To support states, Tidal Basin is offering COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Statewide Implementation services to provide grant and program management assistance; call center assistance and case management; technology solutions for tracking, scheduling and monitoring vaccine distribution at every stage; and temperature-controlled storage and logistics support to make the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process fluid.

Craig says FEMA’s role may change under the new administration, but the agency will likely play a crucial role to support state emergency management in ensuring the vaccine process is administrated effectively. He hopes and expects a nationwide opportunity to identify how to improve response to future pandemics when this is all over. “There needs to be national and state-wide After Action Reports after the pandemic to identify the issues and solutions to make us smarter.”

To learn more on how Tidal Basin can support the COVID-19 response at the state and local level, visit our COVID-19 Resource and Services section on our website.