A group of the nation's governors is asking the Biden administration for a clearer understanding and enhanced coordination of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution system.
In a letter, the executive board of the National Governors Association thanked President Joe Biden for the level of coordination that his team has already established with the executives of each state, but identified "two immediate issues of concern" that they want the White House to address.
"First," the letter reads, "we believe it is essential that the American people understand the vaccine distribution process and the extent of the effort that governments on both the federal and state level are extending," claiming that the reporting mechanism used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to reflect the number of vaccines distributed to each state and vaccinations performed "has created unnecessary confusion."
Because coronavirus vaccinations are distributed by different programs, some at the state level and some at the federal level, the governors are requesting more transparency into those programs.
"We believe it is important that the CDC in its reporting distinguish between these separate efforts to avoid confusion and provide a clear understanding to the American people," they wrote. "States also need visibility into the federal vaccination efforts at the facility level happening in our borders."
"Second," the governors requested, "we believe that federal decisions to use pharmacies and FQHCs (Federally Qualified Health Centers) should be coordinated with state governments."
The letter says that the governors understand the capacity of the different entities and know that "some pharmacies and FQHCs are better suited for the task than others," claiming that increased coordination can help reduce inefficiency and redundancy.
"We are the front line in the battle against COVID-19 and we will only succeed if we work together," the governors said in their letter.
According to the CDC, over 70 million vaccines have been distributed, and nearly 53 million have been administered.