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Feds ask states to speed permit process for COVID vaccine distribution sites

COVID-19 vaccine (Jernej Furman/Flickr)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and other governors across the country to clear the way for the establishment of vaccine distribution sites, a new letter shows.

The request from Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, asked the government to fast-track permits and licenses for vaccine distribution sites. The sites are projected to be fully operational by Nov. 1.

The letter was first obtained by McClatchy.

The “CDC urgently requests your assistance in expediting applications for these distribution facilities, and, if necessary, asks that you consider waiving requirements that would prevent these facilities from becoming fully operational by Nov. 1, 2020,” the letter said. “The requirements you may be asked to waive in order to expedite vaccine distribution will not compromise the safety or integrity of the products being distributed.”

CDC said the vaccine distribution program is “expected to be a public health effort of a significant scale” potentially involving “hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.”

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The CDC had earlier directed public health officials in every state to be ready to distribute the coronavirus vaccine, possibly as soon as October. The vaccine will go to healthcare workers and others in high-risk groups first with widespread public distribution in January 2021.

The distribution letter said the government has contracted with the company McKesson to handle getting the vaccine to health departments and doctors’ offices.

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© 2020 Alabama Media Group