The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking to re-compete four (4) laboratories to provide a flexible shared services model that enhances capacity for vaccine preventable disease (VPD) testing to support CDC and jurisdictions. The selected VPD Reference Centers (VPD-RCs) will provide a variety of testing services related to VPDs including molecular detection, genotyping/serotyping, bacterial serology and potentially viral serology and next generation sequencing. As needs arise, these reference centers may also provide testing for additional pathogens that require similar testing services to meet public health needs.
Eligible laboratories include all public health laboratories with the following capabilities and facilities in place. Applicants may apply for: A) Option 1 Only, B) Options 1 and 2, C) Options 1, 2
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Specific expectations regarding methodologies used by the awardees are outlined in
Appendix A: Expectations for VPD Reference Centers. All applicants are required to agree to the minimum requirements (as outlined in
Appendix B) for the option(s) they select.
All Options: Regardless of which option a laboratory applies to it must meet the following eligibility requirements (required by all applicants):
- Sufficient equipment, laboratory space and workforce capacity for the proposed work;
- Ability to electronically transmit data to CDC using HL7 messaging standards;
- Ability to report results back to submitters in a secure fashion (i.e., electronic portal or fax);
- Ability to meet published turn-around times;
- Flexibility to add and modify testing services, implement protocol changes and adhere to CDC-provided protocols; and
- Capability and capacity for next generation sequencing.
Option 1 (Viral VPD-RC Services): VPD-RC to provide testing to submitting laboratories for measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella-zoster virus. (4 laboratories to be selected, required by all applicants)
- Capacity for real-time PCR using CDC-approved assays for the identification and genotyping of measles, mumps, rubella and varicella-zoster virus; and
Option 2 (Bacterial VPD-RC Services): VPD-RC to provide testing to submitting laboratories for Bordetella pertussis, Neisseria meningitidis and Haemophilus influenzae (2 laboratories to be selected; application optional)
- Demonstrated competency and capacity for real-time PCR using CDC-approved assays for
Neisseria meningitidis and
Haemophilus influenzae; and
Option 3 (Performance Evaluation Panels): Provide performance evaluation panel (PEP) program and/or validation panels for measles, mumps, rubella, varicella-zoster, bacterial meningitis and other pathogens as identified by APHL/CDC (1 laboratory to be selected; application optional)
- Established system for enrolling panel participants;
- Demonstrated cell culture capability;
- Established standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a quality management system for manufacturing, tracking and reporting performance evaluation panels;
- Established system for receiving panel recipients reported results; and
- Established system for tracking data from enrollees and summarizing performance results in aggregate.
Anticipated RFP Schedule
November 12, 2019 – RFP Issued
November 21, 2019 – Informational Teleconference (optional)
December 6, 2019 –
Letter of Intent Due to APHL (see below)
January 3, 2020 – RFP Responses Due
January 15, 2020 – Proposal review completed
January 16-17, 2020 – As needed, follow-up interviews/proposals due
January 22, 2020 – Final review completed and awardees selected
March 1, 2020 – Draft contracts submitted to APHL Legal Dept. for final internal review
Spring 2020 – Training activities, as needed
July 1, 2020 – First year project period start
APHL will communicate any modification to this anticipated schedule on APHL's procurement website (www.aphl.org/rfp) and via an email blast to the public health laboratories (PHLs).
Confirmation of Intent to Respond
APHL requires that prospective applicants submit a brief email statement to
firstname.lastname@example.org indicating an intent to submit a proposal. APHL must receive this email by no later than
5:00 pm EST on December 6, 2019. To allow for appropriate review process planning, a letter of intent is required for consideration.
APHL must receive complete responses by
5:00 pm EST on January 3, 2020. Please see Proposal-Required Submissions section for items that must be included in the completed proposal. Applicants may send proposals via email to email@example.com
APHL will send an email acknowledging the receipt of your application; if you do not receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours, please email the RFP point of contact above to confirm
Re-compete for Vaccine Preventable Diseases Reference Centers RFP provides detailed information in regards to this request, please read it in its entirety.
Questions and Answers
In the last paragraph of the Award section on page 6 of the document, the document refers to “other ELC funded jurisdictions within the RC’s jurisdictions”. To what does that refer, since this RFP is not ELC-related? Was that supposed to read “APHL-funded” or does it refer to APHL member labs?
A: In the RFP, in-state testing from non-ELC funded regions are covered under the $60,000. In-state testing from ELC funded regions such as LA County would be reimbursed at the reduced rate. The use of “ELC funded jurisdictions” was used a metric to accommodate large urban centers that can have a larger testing demand than other routine in-state testing for a reference center.
Is there a guaranteed minimum dollar value for the per specimen testing services?
A: No. There is no guaranteed minimum dollar value for the per specimen testing services.
For several of the responses, we are putting the information in tables. However, these tables take up quite a bit of space and consequently, the narrative is shortened due to the page count constraints. Can we include tables as appendices and use the page count for narrative?
A: Yes, tables may be included as appendices so that the page count and narrative will not unduly shortened.
Will you please clarify whether questions 9 and 10, having to do with viral testing capabilities, are meant to encompass the same level of detail for all PCRs and genotyping performed in the laboratory, not just the VPD-relevant tests?
A: For questions 9 and 10 please focus the response on the viral VPD testing capabilities (measles, mumps, rubella, VZV). Space permitting, if you would like to include other testing information for non-VPD pathogens that you feel sets your application apart you may do so.
What will the viral-only questions (Option 1) be score out of? Also, when the RFP refers to “eight-double spaced pages” is that in reference to Appendix C?
A: For the viral-only questions (Option 1) the total number of points possible is 90. If you are applying for Options 2 or 3 the total number of points possible is 120 and 140 respectively. Because of the nature of this RFP, none of the options are score out 100 since we had to consider multiple functions of the RC (viral, bacterial, PEP program). Of note: applying for Options 2 or 3 does not advantage a laboratory over Option 1 because of the higher total number of points, we are comparing the applications by function.
Eight-double spaced pages are allowed for your response to the viral-only questions (Option 1) in Appendix C. If you choose to apply for Options 2 or 3 the RFP allows for additional pages.