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The journey to a post-COVID era is a difficult one. Although two promising vaccines are currently authorized for emergency use and more than 4.2 million people received the first of two required doses as of January 3, 2021, the United States fell short of its goal to inoculate 20 million front-line workers and seniors in December 2020. To add to the vaccine administration challenge, a more infectious mutation of COVID-19, named B.1.1.7, has been identified among positive cases in at least thirty-three countries around the world and at least eight states in the U.S. According to the CDC, there is no evidence to date to suggest that B.1.1.7 causes more severe illness or a higher risk of death than COVID-19. As the world remains uncertain about how the coronavirus pandemic will evolve, states and local entities have been working tirelessly to mitigate the spread of the virus, inoculate as many residents as quickly and safely as possible, and contend with this new virus mutation. This briefing explored their efforts. Attendees learned the challenges and opportunities states face in safe and timely vaccine deployment and supply management, and plans states are executing to ensure equitable vaccine distribution along the way.
- James S. Blumenstock, M.A., Senior Vice President, Pandemic Response and Recovery, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
- Kate Johnson, MPH, Program Director, Healthcare Cost and Coverage, National Governors Association
- Esther Krofah, MPP, Executive Director, FasterCures, a Center of the Milken Institute
- Sarah J. Dash, MPH, President and CEO, Alliance for Health Policy (moderator)