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Georgia submits COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to CDC

No one yet knows when or even if a vaccine will become available. Some experts have estimated that for the public it will be the middle of next year at the earliest. It is possible that a limited number of vaccines may be available before the end of the year for healthcare professionals.

The country has never had such urgent demands to produce so many vaccine doses so quickly.

Every year, a flu vaccine is given to well over 100 million Americans. But COVID-19 inoculations will be more complex because of the challenges of storing, delivering, and tracking multiple vaccines with different requirements, said Julie Swann, a professor at North Carolina State University who in 2009 served as senior advisor to the CDC on national distribution. to H1

N1 influenza vaccine.

Jack Krost participates in Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine study at Emory University’s Hope Clinic. He is with Laura Clegg, clinical research nurse at Hope Clinic.

Credit: Jack Kearse

Credit: Jack Kearse

Two leading vaccine candidates of Moderna and Pfizer use a new RNA technology and require ultra-low temperature storage. This will require a supply chain that can keep vaccines in tightly controlled temperatures from the moment they are manufactured until the moment they are administered. Pfizer has devised “thermal boxes” that, when unopened, can keep a batch of vaccines frozen for up to 10 days; once opened, they must be refilled with dry ice within 24 hours.

Along with temperature-controlled facilities, there will also be a need for monitoring functions and trained personnel. Because vaccines will be very valuable, security is needed to prevent tampering and theft.

Another challenge: A vaccine is likely to require two doses. That means doubling production and persuading people to return for the second shot. If several vaccines are available at the same time, healthcare providers must ensure that someone receiving the first dose receives a second dose of the same vaccine.

The state plan notes that many pharmacies and hospitals have systems they use for patient notifications for appointments and for medication collection, and that they can use the same systems for second-dose reminders for patients.

In this photo, infectious disease research assistant Irma Barreto Ojeda is holding a tray with a syringe containing either placebo or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on the right as she gives University of Miami Miller School of Medicine nurse Inza Patton, left, and pharmacist Barbara Huang. (AP Photo / Taimy Alvarez)

Credit: Taimy Alvarez

Credit: Taimy Alvarez

There are also questions about the cost of the vaccine to the public. While the vaccines arrive at clinics free of charge, it is not the government will pay for the vaccines to be administered. To make money, clinics may still be able to charge an administration fee for patients who will have a limit of $ 43.86 for a two-dose vaccine. The plan notes that clinics “must” waive the fee for those who can not afford it, but it does not say what it means or how patients by asking for exceptions. More than 1 million Georgians live below the poverty line.

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