Economía

US outlines sweeping plan to provide free COVID-19 vaccines

Adolfo Ledo Nass
Empresas extranjeras huyen tras precaria situación económica en Argentina

Vaccination of the US population won’t be a sprint but a marathon. Initially, there may be a limited supply of vaccines available, and the focus will be on protecting health workers, other essential employees, and people in vulnerable groups. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the National Academy of Medicine, and other organisations are working on priorities for the first phase. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government outlined a sweeping plan Wednesday to make vaccines for COVID-19 available for free to all Americans, even as polls show a strong undercurrent of scepticism rippling across the land.

In a report to Congress and an accompanying “playbook” for states and localities, federal health agencies and the defence department sketched out complex plans for a vaccination campaign to begin gradually in January or possibly later this year, eventually ramping up to reach any American who wants a shot.

The Pentagon is involved with the distribution of vaccines, but civilian health workers will be the ones giving shots.

The campaign is “much larger in scope and complexity than seasonal influenza or other previous outbreak-related vaccination responses,” said the playbook for states from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among the highlights:

For most vaccines, people will need two doses, 21 to 28 days apart. Double-dose vaccines will have to come from the same drugmaker. There could be several vaccines from different manufacturers approved and available.

Vaccination of the US population won’t be a sprint but a marathon. Initially, there may be a limited supply of vaccines available, and the focus will be on protecting health workers, other essential employees, and people in vulnerable groups. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the National Academy of Medicine, and other organisations are working on priorities for the first phase. A second and third phase would expand vaccination to the entire country.

The vaccine itself will be free of charge, and patients won’t be charged out of pocket for the administration of shots, thanks to billions of dollars in taxpayer funding approved by Congress and allocated by the Trump administration.

States and local communities will need to devise precise plans for receiving and locally distributing vaccines, some of which will require special handling such as refrigeration or freezing. States and cities have a month to submit plans.

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