Career Staff at C.D.C. Developed the Decentralized Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution Plans

(p. A8) “While scientists did their job in discovering vaccines in record time, my predecessor — I’ll be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions,” Mr. Biden added.

“It was a big mess,” he said. “It’s going to take time to fix, to be blunt with you.”

Health officials in the Trump administration have pushed back on those suggestions, pointing to hundreds of briefings that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services offered the incoming health team, including on vaccine allocation and distribution.

The highly decentralized plans to distribute and administer the vaccines, giving state and local health departments authority once doses had been delivered, were developed with career staff members at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Defense Department.

Officials involved in the last administration’s distribution plans said late last year that outside of the first few weeks, when they carefully managed the flow of second-dose reserves, their plan was always to ship out doses as they became available, and that they never intended to stockpile doses.

For the full story, see:

Katie Rogers, Noah Weiland and Sharon LaFraniere. “200 Million More Doses Coming, But the Logistics Are a Challenge.” The New York Times (Friday, February 12, 2021): A1 & A8.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Feb. 11, 2021, and has the title “With More Vaccines Secured, Biden Warns of Hurdles to Come.”)

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