Multiple federal vaccine distribution programs causing confusion for states, governors say

Having multiple federal programs to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to different facilities, such as pharmacies and community health centers, is creating confusion among state governments when it comes to vaccine distribution, the National Governors Association said in a Feb. 15 letter addressed to President Joe Biden. 

The governors said that because states aren't involved in the federal government's efforts to send vaccines to retail pharmacies and federally qualified community health centers, they don't know where to send all of the doses they are given.

"We believe it is important that the CDC in its reporting distinguish between these separate efforts to avoid confusion and provide a clear understanding to the American people. States also need visibility into the federal vaccination efforts at the facility level happening in our borders," the governors wrote. "If the federal government distributes independently of the states to these same entities without state coordination and consultation, redundancy and inefficiency may very well follow."

The governors urged the federal government to let them know exactly where they are sending vaccine doses so they don't send vaccines to the same places. 

The governors also said the numbers publicly reported by the CDC on how many vaccines states have been given and how many they've administered are causing "unnecessary confusion" for people, as the numbers differ from reality. 

"We would ask that the CDC reporting accurately reflects the reality," the governors wrote. 

A White House spokesperson told CNN that it's discussing data and reporting issues with state governments and that federal agencies are working to improve the Tiberius system, a software platform designed to guide the distribution of  COVID-19 vaccines, so states get more visibility into all vaccine distribution channels. Upgrades to the system will allow states to see the inventory for retail pharmacy locations, identify where "unaccounted doses" exist and provide an overall view of orders and shipments for all pharmacies and federal entities, CNN reported. 

Read the governor's full letter to the president here

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