You have likely seen news regarding the results of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trials. This is very encouraging news and gives us hope of returning to more normal times.
For the past several months, the Infectious Disease Subcommittee of the UNC Health Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, which has system-wide representation and is led by Dr. David Weber, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at UNC Hospitals, has been meeting to work through logistics and to advise UNC Health’s senior leadership team as we prepare for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. This team is also working with Dr. Crystal Cene, System Executive Director for Health Equity, and Dr. Benny Joyner, chair of UNC Health’s Ethics Committee, to ensure the issues related to health disparities and ethical concerns are effectively represented.
While we do not yet have answers to many key questions surrounding a potential vaccine and its rollout plan or timeline, we are grateful to have a team of regional and national experts to review vaccine data and to guide our decisions and planning efforts. Our goal is to then provide as much data and information as possible to both our co-workers, patients and the community related to the vaccine. In addition to the videos below with updates from Dr. Cindy Gay on the state of COVID-19 vaccine trials and Dr. Tony Lindsey on the latest models for COVID-19 cases across North Carolina, we will share much more information in the coming weeks and months.
If the remainder of the vaccine trials are as positive as the interim reports, we expect to make a recommendation that UNC Health employees should receive the vaccine. Given the limited experience with the vaccine, there are no current plans to make the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for UNC Health employees.
For the immediate future, and even once we have a COVID-19 vaccine, we need everyone to continue following these key principles:
* Wear your mask and eye protection
* Stay six feet away from others whenever possible
* Wash your hands frequently
* Stay home if you are sick