House COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Meets Tomorrow for Presentations on Vaccine Distribution

STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccine is scheduled to meet virtually tomorrow to discuss vaccine distribution efforts with representatives from the Department of Health, Care New England and Lifespan.

The meeting is to be held tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m. via WebEx.

The meeting will be televised by Capitol Television, which can be seen on Cox Channels 15 and 61, in high definition on Cox Channel 1013, on Full Channel on Channel 15 and on Channel 34 by Verizon subscribers.  The meeting can be live streamed at http://www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx.

Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director; Alysia Mihalakos, Chief of the Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response, and Tricia Washburn, Chief of the Office of Immunization, will make the presentation by the Department of Health. 

Lifespan will be represented by Christine M. Collins, Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, and Jacqueline Parrillo, RN, Director, Employee and Occupational Health Services and Human Resources. Care New England will be represented by Dr. Raymond Powire, MD, Executive Chief of Medicine, and Robin Neale, MS, Vice President, Quality and Clinical Effectiveness.

The task force’s purpose is to ensure that Rhode Island’s distribution of the vaccine is done in a timely manner following the CDC guidelines and that front-line workers, the health-compromised and the elderly are given access first, and also to make certain the needs of the underserved populations are appropriately addressed. The task force will work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and learn about the state’s vaccine plan.

No public testimony will be accepted at the virtual meeting.

President-Elect Joe Biden is honoring the lives of the more than 400-thousand Americans who have died as a result of the pandemic. Biden took part in a COVID memorial in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, where he said the U.S. must begin healing. VP-elect Kamala [[ COMMA-lah ]] Harris also attended the ceremony, and called the U.S. a "nation in mourning" but said Americans are united in spirit.       President Trump is praising his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic in his final address to the nation. Trump says his administration accomplished a "medical miracle" for producing two vaccines with record-breaking speed. He says any other administration would have taken up to 10 years, but his did it in just nine months.        Joe Biden's nominee for Defense Secretary is vowing to rid the armed forces of racists and extremists. Lloyd Austin says one of his top goals will be to free the military of discrimination, hate and sexual harassment. If confirmed by the Senate, Austin will be the nation's first African American defense secretary.        Vogue magazine is changing the cover for its February issue featuring VP-Elect Kamala [[ COMMA-lah ]] Harris. The magazine says it made the change after fans said Harris was worthy of a more impressive pose. The previous cover featured Harris wearing casual clothes and Converse sneakers, and the new edition will have her wearing a powder blue suit.       Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is still in the NFL's concussion protocol. ESPN reports Mahomes has made progress so far but he must clear other steps in order to return to action. It's unclear if he will be ready to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills.        Country music icon Dolly Parton turns 75 years old today. In a tweet, Parton says she has one request for her birthday, and that is for people to be kind to one another. She says "love is more contagious than a virus" and called on everyone to make sure that "love doesn't get buried in a world of hurt and fear."