The House of Representatives Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccine is scheduled to meet virtually tomorrow to discuss vaccine distribution efforts with executives from CVS, according to a press release received on Tuesday from the State of Rhode Island General Assembly

The meeting is to be held tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 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. It will be live-streamed at http://www.rilegislature.gov/CapTV/Pages/default.aspx.

The task force says that they will discuss vaccine distribution with executives from Woonsocket-based CVS, which will help distribute it. Participating for CVS will be Dr. Sreekanth Chaguturu, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Caremark CVS; Christopher Cox, senior vice president for pharmacy operations; and Steven Larrabee, senior director, state government affairs.

The task force hopes to reschedule its planned discussion with executives from Pfizer, Inc., who the task force says were unable to attend tomorrow’s hearing due to scheduling conflicts.

On Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m., the task force plans discussions with representatives from the state Department of Health and from the state’s two largest hospital systems.

Lifespan will be represented by Christine M. Collins, vice president and chief pharmacy officer.  Care New England will be represented by Dr. Raymond Powire and Robin Neale, MS, director of clinical effectiveness and infection prevention.

The task force, which met for the first time last week, 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.

The task force will also learn more about the state’s involvement as one of four states in the Pfizer’s pilot program to test distribution of the vaccine.

The task force includes:

  • Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), who will serve as chairman
  • Rep. Karen Alzate (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket)
  • Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry)
  • Rep. Kathleen A. Fogarty (D-Dist. 35, South Kingstown)
  • Rep. Joshua J. Giraldo (D-Dist. 56, Central Falls)
  • Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett)
  • Representative-elect Michelle E. McGaw (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton)
  • Rep. Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist.62, Pawtucket)
  • Rep. Thomas E. Noret (D-Dist.25, Coventry, West Warwick)
  • Rep. David J. Place (R-Dist. 47, Burrillville, Glocester).

No public testimony will be accepted at the virtual meetings.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.