With the first coronavirus vaccines in the final stages of testing, the National Governors Association has some pressing questions for the Trump administration: Who is going to pay for the administration of vaccines? And how will scarce supplies be allocated among the states?
The association, a bipartisan group headed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, posted its questions on Twitter.
“Will there be additional funding allocated to states to assist with distribution of the vaccine and other vaccine efforts?” the group asked.
And what, they asked, is the national plan to deal with vaccine shortages?
There were also questions about the mundane supplies needed to immunize people — needles, syringes, alcohol pads, adhesive bandages, dry ice. How will they be managed, the governors ask.
The need for a vaccine is so large and so urgent that there will almost certainly not be enough to go around, at least at first. And it is not clear how the vaccine supplies will be doled out. Will they be allocated to each state based on total population, or according to the number of people at the highest risk of infection, or by some other rubric?
The question of who should be vaccinated once the states receive supplies has been studied intensively by several groups, including the National Academies of Science and Medicine, which proposed dividing the population into groups based on risk and need.
The first group to be offered a vaccine would be emergency, public safety and health care workers, including those employed in nursing homes. Next would be people with medical conditions that place them at high risk for severe infections, and older people living in group homes or crowded neighborhoods.
From there the lists move on to less and less vulnerable groups, ending with healthy children and young adults. Lastly, anyone not included in one of the specified groups would then be offered a vaccine.
A federal Centers for Disease Control and Preventions committee said it favored the National Academies’ approach, but would hold an emergency meeting to vote on a final plan once a vaccine was ready and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. From there, it would be up to the C.D.C. to adopt a plan.
As the coronavirus continued to surge in many parts of the United States, officials and experts offered starkly different outlooks on Sunday about what was to come and when the situation might improve.
Alex Azar, the secretary of Health and Human Services, noting that many have grown tired of pandemic precautions, tried to paint an optimistic picture of how much longer they would be needed.
“Hang in there with us,” he said on Sunday on the NBC program “Meet the Press.” “We’re so close. We’re weeks away from monoclonal antibodies for you, for safe and effective vaccines. We need a bridge to that day.”
“Please,” Mr. Azar said, “give us a bit more time of your individual, responsible behavior,”…
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