States need $8.4B to distribute COVID-19 vaccine, Congress told

States are urging Congress to provide at least $8.4 billion to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, The Hill reported. 

In a letter addressed to bipartisan congressional leaders from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Association of Immunization Managers, the groups say states don't have enough money to distribute a vaccine. 

The CDC has so far given states a total of $200 million for vaccine distribution. 

Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, told The Hill that without more money, vaccination efforts are "doomed to fail."

"We want to be absolutely clear — states and local partners cannot conduct an unprecedented and incredibly complex national vaccine distribution program without adequate resources," she said. 

Ms. Hannan said the $200 million equates to about 60 cents per person, and is "not  adequate to vaccinate every American with the expected two-dose course at this amount."

Last month, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, estimated that states would need about $6 billion in funding for vaccine distribution. 

The $8.4 billion in funding requested by the two groups includes $3 million for workforce recruitment and training for state and local health departments; $1.2 billion for transportation and storage; $500 million for outreach efforts to fight vaccine misinformation; and $1 billion to create more vaccination sites, The Hill reported. 

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