Press Room

Public Health Leaders Request COVID-19 Vaccine Infrastructure and Administration Funding

ARLINGTON, VA (Oct. 15, 2020)—Michael Fraser, chief executive officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), issued the following statement today urging Congress to provide emergency supplemental funding for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

“As Congress and the Administration consider the next emergency supplemental bill, public health leaders request at least $8.4 billion for COVID-19 vaccination distribution and administration, plus an additional $500 million for seasonal influenza operations. These funds are urgently needed to expand and strengthen federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal capacity for a timely, comprehensive, and equitable vaccine distribution and administration campaign. Importantly, the planning, staffing, training, operational, and logistical demands for this effort are unlike any ever endeavored in this country,” says Fraser. “Our members are working to meet the challenge but need more resources to achieve optimal success to protect the health of all Americans. ASTHO and AIM urge Congress and the administration to come together to enact a swift, bipartisan agreement on a COVID-19 emergency supplemental package.”

“State and local public health agencies are deep into the planning process to distribute any COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is determined to be safe and effective. State plans are due to CDC on Oct. 16. But without adequate resources for implementation, the best plans are doomed to fail,” says Hannan. “We want to be absolutely clear – states and local partners cannot conduct an unprecedented and incredibly complex national vaccine distribution program without adequate resources. To date, CDC has distributed $200 million to support state planning efforts. This funding is a necessary first step but equals approximately 60 cents per person. It is not adequate to vaccinate every American with the expected two dose course at this amount.”

Click through to access our letter requesting additional funding for COVID-19 vaccine infrastructure and administration.

ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in public health practice.