State leaders say they have the billions of dollars needed to successfully provide the Kovid-19 vaccination to all Americans, according to a June goal of health officials.
The federal government is providing syringes, needles, face masks and shields as well as vaccines. But state leaders say they must hire medical personnel, provide community outreach and education, establish vaccination clinics and ensure storage capacity for vaccines. Some states are also concerned with having adequate supplies, such as gloves and gowns, protecting health care workers, as well as vaccinating people.
Officials in several states said that residents will spend whatever is necessary to vaccinate them. Some said it could force spending cuts in areas such as education, unless Congress provides additional funding or the federal government withdraws a large portion of its rollout costs.
Congressional legislators are wrestling with a $ 908 billion coronovirus relief package, and aid is an important point for state and local governments.
share your thoughts
What should states do to ensure that their vaccines are delivered effectively? Join the conversation below.
According to a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has sent more than $ 300 million to the states to support the flu and the Kovid-19 vaccine plan.
“Every dose is paid in advance,” a senior White House official said during a press call on 7 December. “Syringes and needles and swabs required for vaccination will be combined with outgoing vaccines, and for which payment is made in advance. We are providing dry ice with vaccines for cold storage. “
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health and President of State and Territorial Health Officials Drs. Rachel Levin said at a Senate hearing on Thursday that the states needed $ 8.4 billion for the vaccination program.
“This will not be a short-term operation,” he said, adding that states will also face a challenge “in competition with each other for resources,” as they did in the spring in the pursuit of protective equipment. “It would be useful if the federal government coordinated and we don’t have to bid against our sister states,” she said.
The financial demand is coming at a time when the state tax revenue has decreased due to the epidemic, the budget deficit is reducing in some states.
The Trump administration is working on an operation taunting speed to produce and distribute 300 million doses of the vaccine, with initial doses available since January. Vaccines are distributed to states, which decide where they go.
“States have a lot of vibe,” said Lina Wayne, a former Baltimore health commissioner and health-policy professor at George Washington University. “They are running marathons at a sprint pace with very little support. It would be a shame if there is no taunting speed for delivery at taunting speed for development.”
According to a November report by the Government Accountability Office, a third of states said they were “very” or “completely” concerned about having enough supplies to operate the Kovid-19 vaccines.
Shortages and funding crises could slow the rapid pace that health officials have said will require businesses to reopen and the economy to jump.
State Budget Director Robert Mujica said New York State estimated that its vaccination delivery effort could cost $ 1 billion. He said that about 75% of the estimated costs are personnel-related, including hiring and training commentators, doctors and support staff.
Other expenses would include logistics such as refrigeration for vaccines, which would have to encourage people to get shots to maintain a certain temperature, warehouse storage and safety, as well as public campaigns.
Finding money will not be easy. “It’s a big concern,” he said.
Virginia officials said they expect vaccine delivery to cost $ 120 million.
“I think it should be part of the responsibility of the federal government, but make no mistake, we’re going to do it,” said State Secretary of State Aubrey Layne. “We must put the welfare and health of our citizens first.”
He said Virginia has fared better financially than many states, partly due to its large defense-industry sector. Nevertheless, state tax revenues are far below pre-epidemic levels, and will come at the expense of other areas covering vaccine delivery costs, which depend on a $ 22.5 billion dollar general fund.
Ohio estimates that its vaccine-related costs could run more than $ 100 million. The state has $ 300 million left in the federal Care Act funding. Officials plan to use that money for testing and tracing, but some of its vaccines may redirect distribution, said Kimberly Murnieux, director of state budget and management.
One hiccup is that Congress set a Dec. 30 deadline for states to spend that money, and Ms. Murniex said she expects an extension.
“We have an efficient operation to make those dollars possible, but obviously, additional federal resources would be very welcome, especially for the vaccination rollout,” she said.
Federal officials estimate that there will be enough doses to vaccinate 20 million Americans in December, and may be enough to vaccinate about 25 million to 30 million people in the month beginning in January. Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Drs. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the workplace could reopen and restaurants could increase capacity by the end of March or early April if about 75% of Americans are vaccinated.
Facing a difficult challenge, state budget officials have drafted a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year without paying for vaccine delivery, said Brian Siegries, state financial studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers Director of.
With revenue declining in states due to the epidemic, states will have less money for areas such as education, health care, transportation and improvement.
Andrew Cuomo of the Democratic Government of New York and Republican Republican Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who led the National Governors Association, called on Congress to pass a strong stimulus bill this month. States and territories have asked for $ 8 billion for the efforts of the coronovirus vaccine, as well as additional funds to help meet their budget shortfalls and epidemic-related expenses.
New York State budget director, Mr. Mujica, said the federal government should cover most, if not all, distribution costs given the magnitude of the epidemic.
“This is no different from any other national emergency, so the federal government must invest resources to do it,” he said.
So far, Mr. Mujica said, the federal government has provided the state with $ 14 million for the vaccine plan, with $ 10 million more expected. 15. He said that part of the state’s CARS Act funding has ended. An epidemic in tax revenue in New York is causing budget shortfalls and cutting spending, he said.
“We don’t want to cut education and health care, but that’s what it will mean for us,” he said.
-Paul Page contributed to this article.
Write [email protected] on Stephanie Armor and Scott Calott on [email protected]
Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8