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Local health officials doubt federal pivot on Covid-19 vaccines will help in time

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.8%. 1 min read.

Local health officials fear a federal about-face on coronavirus vaccine policy will be too little, too late

City and county health departments are already running at a deficit, and will continue to struggle to get vaccines out to people, the National Association of County and City Health Officials said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services changed course on Tuesday in its Covid-19 vaccine rollout guidelines for states, which then get passed down to local health departments.

Local health officials are moving to get health care workers in place for a flood of additional Covid-19 vaccine doses -- but many of those departments are understaffed and under-resourced, NACCHO'S Freeman said.

Out of the more than 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine that have been distributed to hospitals, health centers and pharmacies so far in the United States, only about 9 million people had received their first dose as of Tuesday morning, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With the Trump administration's new rollout guidelines, Freeman said, there are concerns about mixed messaging to the public about how important it is to receive a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine and when.

"There's a balance that's required between wanting to get as many people as possible immunized and making sure that we are able to successfully do the second doses of vaccine and have enough supply. "

While speaking to CNN on Tuesday morning, Freeman said that she was on her way to a meeting with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to discuss the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.

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