States struggle to draft COVID-19 vaccine plans; initial steps for Arizona outlined

A vaccine for COVID-19 may only effectively stop the spread if enough people take it. /Photo by Javier Zayas Photography /Getty Images

By Laura Olson | Arizona Mirror

Across the hundreds of pages of plans that officials in Arizona and elsewhere sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on distributing and tracking the yet-to-be-approved COVID-19 vaccines, there are more questions so far than answers on how exactly vaccine programs will be carried out.

Yet states will be on the front lines for a far-reaching vaccination initiative expected to cost in the billions, as the nation registers more than 8.3 million COVID-19 cases and 221,000 deaths. The federal government still has not done its part either, with additional vaccine funding stalled as Congress and the White House extend months-long talks over a new relief deal.

A review by States Newsroom of a dozen state plans found, for example:

Arizona officials flagged that small rural clinics will need smaller allotments of the temperature-sensitive medications than the 1,000-dose increments expected in one scenario — a situation that seems likely to play out across states. 

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