No Vaccine Yet, But States Organize Distribution Plans
They also want $8.4 billion from Congress to pay for the rollout.
The New York Times:
Governors Ask How Vaccines Will Be Distributed
With the first coronavirus vaccines in the final stages of testing, the National Governors Association has some pressing questions for the Trump administration: Who is going to pay for the administration of vaccines? And how will scarce supplies be allocated among the states? The association, a bipartisan group headed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, posted its questions on Twitter. (10/18)
State’s Tentative Vaccine Distribution Plan Prioritizes Medical Workers, High-Risk People
Massachusetts residents who are elderly or at risk for serious illness, health care providers, and other essential workers are likely to be the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after one is approved, according to a draft of the state’s distribution plan filed with the federal government. The document, sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prioritizes those groups because the state, home to nearly 6.9 million people, is expected to receive only 20,000 to 60,000 doses of a vaccine during the federal government’s initial allocation, according to the draft. (Fox and Lugli, 10/18)
Georgia Submits COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan To CDC
The Georgia Department of Public Health submitted its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, laying the groundwork for an extraordinary undertaking to vaccinate millions of people across the state. The 56-page plan touches on everything from ordering and tracking the vaccine to meeting cold-storage requirements. It also outlines a strategy of making the vaccine available at not only healthcare settings but non-traditional places like churches and workplaces. (Oliviero and Hart, 10/16)
State Health Officials Tell Congress They Need $8.4B For COVID-19 Vaccination Effort
State public health officials are urging Congress to provide at least $8.4 billion in emergency funding for distributing a coronavirus vaccine, warning that they do not currently have enough money to carry out the immense logistical effort. The letter to bipartisan congressional leaders came from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), a group that represents state public health departments, and the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), which represents states’ vaccination officials. (Sullivan, 10/16)
In other vaccine news —
Ex-FDA Head: White House Coronavirus Strategy Of Waiting For Vaccine Is "Problematic"
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday the White House strategy to combat the spread of coronavirus appears to be "to endure the spread until we get to that vaccine." That strategy, which leaves much of the mitigation efforts up to the states and excludes a national mask mandate, is "problematic" because the "first tranche of people to get vaccinated really won't be protected ... probably until February and maybe March," even if companies apply in November with the FDA to administer the vaccine, Gottlieb said. (Allassan, 10/18)
Vaxart Is Under Federal Investigation After Allegedly Misrepresenting Its Role In Government Program Operation Warp Speed
California biotech company Vaxart, which is working on a Covid-19 vaccine, is under federal investigation and is being sued by a number of investors for allegedly exaggerating its involvement in the US government's Operation Warp Speed program for developing Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Vaxart stated in an October 14 Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it's being investigated by the SEC and federal prosecutors, and that it was served with a grand jury subpoena in July from the US District Court for the Northern District of California. (Liao, 10/18)