Millions of Americans are counting on a COVID-19 vaccine to curb the global pandemic and return life to normal.
While one or more options could be available toward the end of this year or early next, the path to delivering vaccines to 330 million people remains unclear for the local health officials expected to carry out the work.
“We haven’t gotten a lot of information about how this is going to roll out,” said Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Texas’ Harris County Public Health department, which includes Houston.
In a four-page memo this summer, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told health departments across the country to draft vaccination plans by Oct. 1 “to coincide with the earliest possible release of COVID-19 vaccine.”
But health departments that have been underfunded for decades say they currently lack the staff, money and tools to educate people about vaccines and