RI House coronavirus vaccine task force to meet for first time


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Preparation continues at the state level to be ready to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once approved by U.S. federal regulators.

The Rhode Island House of Representatives Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccine will hold its first of three virtual meetings this month Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and will be streamed live on Capital TV.

The task force, which was announced last week, will work closely with the R.I. Department of Health and learn about the state’s vaccine plan.

Both Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna are awaiting emergency use approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for their respective vaccines.

The group’s purpose is to ensure Rhode Island’s distribution of the vaccine is done in a timely manner following guidelines laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and front-line workers, the health-compromised, and the elderly are given access first.

The task force will also address needs of under-served populations in the state.

Wednesday, the group will hear from public health experts at the state level, like former Department of Health Director Dr. Michael Fine, as well as nationally recognized Brown University School of Public Health Dean Dr. Ashish Jha.

Next week, the task force will discuss the state’s involvement in Pfizer’s pilot vaccine delivery program.

Executives from Woonsocket-based CVS will also be at the meeting.

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