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    W.Va. Guard Hosts WV JIATF Tabletop Exercise for Vaccination Distribution

    W.Va. Guard Hosts WV JIATF Tabletop on Phase 1 Vaccine Distribution

    Photo By Edwin Wriston | Members of the West Virginia COVID-19 Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) for...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Holli Nelson 

    West Virginia National Guard

    Members of the West Virginia COVID-19 Joint Inter-Agency Task Force (JIATF) for Vaccinations participated in a tabletop exercise to discuss initial Phase 1 vaccine distribution and redistribution throughout the Mountain State at the 130th Airlift Wing in Charleston, West Virginia, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020.

    The goal of the exercise was for JIATF members, made up of representatives from governmental agencies as well as public and private sector organization partners, to further refine vaccine administration plans according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) national vaccine distribution process.

    Attendees primarily focused on Phase 1 distribution during the exercise, which will target personnel at most risk for COVID-19.

    “The CDC and vaccine providers will initially be shipping very limited numbers of vaccines to states,” stated Lt. Col. Walter “Wally” Hatfield, WVNG Director of Joint Operations. “The first priority is to safeguard those folks on the front lines fighting this disease and/or those who make up our most vulnerable and at-risk populations. It is imperative we protect them first.”

    Among the specific subjects discussed during the exercise included the roles, responsibilities, and capabilities of each of the participating agencies and organizations that make up the JIATF, as well as concepts for the initial distribution to Phase 1 populations.

    Participants drilled down on specific plans regarding state-level distribution hub facilities that will receive shipments directly from vaccine producers, cold storage requirements for the received vaccines, distribution of vaccine doses to individual facilities and locations around the state, manpower and logistical hurdles, and the need for advanced documentation from initial receipt to end-user administration.

    “A primary purpose of exercises like these is to identify gaps in planning and resourcing, and to develop solutions that provide the greatest public health benefit while maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste,” said Matthew Blackwood, Deputy Director of Research and Planning with the West Virginia Department of Emergency Management who moderated the exercise. “There are a huge number of logistical and manpower issues required for such an important and massive operation. Having all the agencies and organization representatives together getting the time to discuss issues is critical to mission success and streamlining operations.”

    Hatfield agreed.

    “With all the interagency partners and organization representatives of the JIATF in the same room, we can discuss, dissect, and better understand specific needs, obstacles… and most importantly solutions… for different aspects of our mission,” he said. “Allowing the entire JIATF to develop a common operating picture across all different specialties that involves and represents all voices is essential as we ramp up to actual vaccine distribution, and this exercise goes a long way in meeting that goal.”

    The WV JIATF for Vaccinations includes representatives from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR), WVNG, WVDEM, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC), West Virginia Hospital Association (WVHA), West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDAG), West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE), West Virginia Health Care Association (WVHCA), and members of local Health Departments and additional subject matter experts, and was established as part of Governor Jim Justice’s whole of government approach to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the citizens of West Virginia.



    Date Taken: 12.04.2020
    Date Posted: 12.04.2020 18:53
    Story ID: 384283
    Location: CHARLESTON, WV, US 

    Web Views: 40
    Downloads: 0