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With hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines will be proven safe and effective soon, state and local public health authorities will play a critical role in ensuring the efficient distribution and administration of the vaccine.
To assess the readiness of these local governments to take on these responsibilities, KFF reviewed the preliminary vaccine distribution plans submitted to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month by the states and the District of Columbia. These initial plans will be revised based on additional information and federal guidance.
The plans reveal that states are in varying stages of preparations, with some working on the issues for several months and others beginning more recently. Key findings include:
Defining exactly who will get the vaccine first is a critical task for states. The preliminary plans reveal that less than half of state plans contain an estimate for the number of people considered high priority to receive the vaccine. In every state, these high-priority groups include health care workers, essential workers, older residents and others with health conditions that put them at high risk if they were to contract COVID-19. States will need to know which vaccine or vaccines they are …
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