Health officials worry nation not ready for COVID-19 vaccine - (ABC News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has told local health departments to draft vaccination plans by October 1 "to coincide with the earliest possible release of COVID-19 vaccine," reported ABC News.

  • However, underfunded health departments say they lack the staff, funding and tools to educate people about vaccines and then to distribute, administer and track hundreds of millions of doses, the news source said.

  • The news source noted that health departments also do not know when, or if, they will receive federal aid to do that.

  • The $150 billion that states and local governments received from a fund in the CARES Act, for example, covers only expenses made through the end of the year, noted Gretchen Musicant, health commissioner in Minneapolis.

  • Kelly Moore of the Immunization Action Coalition, a national vaccine education and advocacy organization, expects many states to face major challenges as they try to account for and report on immunizations down to the dose, which the CDC is requiring.

  • Meanwhile, the CDC is developing an app called the Vaccine Administration Monitoring System for health departments whose data systems lag, added Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.

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