Facing Many Unknowns, States Rush To Plan Distribution Of COVID-19 Vaccines

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While coronavirus vaccine trials are ongoing and U.S. vaccine has yet to be approved, state health officials are planning ahead for how to eventually immunized a large swath of the population.

Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

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Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Even the most effective, safest coronavirus vaccine won’t work to curb the spread of the virus unless a large number of people get immunized. And getting a vaccine from the manufacturers all the way into people’s arms requires complex logistics — and will take many months. Now, public health officers across the country are rushing to finish up the first draft of plans for how to distribute a coronavirus vaccine if and when it is authorized, and they’re grappling with a host of unknowns as they try to design a system for getting the vaccine out to everyone who wants it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave state immunization managers only 30 days to draft a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan — and Friday is the day those plans are due. The timing of vaccine research and planning is politically fraught, with the presidential election a few weeks away. When …

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