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Georgia submits COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to CDC

No one yet knows when, or even, a vaccine will be available. Some experts estimate that, for the general public, it will be the middle of next year at the earliest. It is possible that a limited number of vaccines will be available at the end of the year for health care workers.

The country has never had such an urgent demand to produce so many doses of vaccine so quickly.

Each year, a flu vaccine is given to more than 100 million Americans. But the inoculations of COVID-19 will be more complicated due to the challenges of storing, delivering and monitoring multiple vaccines with different requirements, said Julie Swann, a professor at North Carolina State University who 2009 served as a senior CDC adviser on the national distribution for the H1

N1 flu vaccine.

Jack Krost participated in Phase 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine test at Emory University’s Hope Clinic. She is joined by Laura Clegg, clinical research nurse at Hope Clinic.

Credit: Jack Kearse

Credit: Jack Kearse

Two leading vaccine candidates, Moderna and Pfizer, use a new RNA technology and require ultra-low temperature storage. This will require a supply chain that can keep vaccines at a strictly controlled temperature from the moment they are made, until they are given. Pfizer has created “thermal boxes” that, if not opened, can keep the frozen group of vaccines for up to 10 days; once opened, however, they should be filled with dry ice within 24 hours.

Along with temperature-controlled facilities, it will also be necessary for monitoring capabilities and skilled staff. Because vaccines will be very important, security will be needed to prevent tampering and theft.

Another challenge: A vaccine may require two doses. That means doubling production and encouraging people to come back for a second shot. If multiple vaccines are available at once, health care providers need to ensure that a person receiving the first dose gets the second dose of the same vaccine.

The state plan states that many pharmacies and hospitals have systems they use for patient notifications for appointments and for taking medication, and they can use both of these systems for second-dose reminder to patients.

In this photo file, assistant researcher on infectious diseases Irma Barreto Ojeda, right, holds a tray with a syringe containing either a placebo or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine while she was administered to the University. of Miami Miller School of Medicine nurse Inza Patton, left, and pharmacist Barbara Huang. (Photo by AP / Taimy Alvarez)

Credit: Taimy Alvarez

Credit: Taimy Alvarez

There are also questions about the cost of the vaccine for the public. While vaccines will come to clinics free of charge, the government will not pay for vaccines provided. To make money, clinics can still charge patients a management fee, which would have a limit of $ 43.86 for a two-dose vaccine. The plan says clinics “should” waive the fee for those who cannot afford it, but does not say what it means, or how patients who request a waiver will know. More than 1 million Georgians live below the poverty line.

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