November 12, 2020

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 493 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: The trickiest vaccine launch in U.S. history

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even if the federal government manages to secure the cash needed for COVID-19 vaccine distribution — and that's a big if — there's still a huge task ahead at the state level.

Why it matters: America has never attempted to vaccinate so many people on such short notice, with so many lives on the line, reports Axios' Marisa Fernandez.

1) Record-keeping: States will turn to their existing immunization registries, AP reports.

  • Pharmacies and doctors’ offices will need to be able to look up records, so people don’t have to return to the same place for their second shot.

2) Storage: Smaller pharmacies and doctors' offices are needed to make getting shots more convenient, but the Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at -94°F.

  • About 60% of pharmacy chains nationwide — Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health, Walmart, Kroger and Costco Wholesale, so far — agreed to partner with the federal government to ramp up access, HHS announced today.
  • The private sector will also be needed to help with shipping and storage and technology lags from remote or tribal areas.

3) Return visits: The CDC is considering ways to help Americans remember to get the second shot with the same brand, per AP:

  • One would be to issue cards that people would get with their first shot, like the polio immunization cards many older Americans remember.
  • In a rural part of South Carolina, one community health center is planning multiple reminders, including text messages and calls from health workers.
  • In rural Minnesota this fall, masked nurses in traffic vests reached into cars to give passengers flu shots as a way to social distance, but it also served as a test run for a COVID vaccine.

The bottom line: The government needs to get its messaging right this time.

  • The CDC and other agencies can't afford a repeat of this spring, when they gave bad guidance about face masks and testing that is still confusing many Americans.

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Honorary starter and Masters champion Jack Nicklaus waves after playing the opening tee shot during the first round at Augusta National today.

2. Catch up quick

  1. President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting American companies and individuals from owning shares in any of the 31 Chinese companies previously listed as enabling the People’s Liberation Army. Go deeper.
  2. Corey Lewandowski has tested positive for the coronavirus. Go deeper.
  3. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning to visit the Golan Heights and an Israeli settlement in the West Bank next week, both firsts for a U.S. secretary of state, scoops Axios' Barak Ravid.
  4. 🎧 Inside the rapid rise of Parler. Listen here.

3. 1 fun thing: 3-D music to your ears

Photo: Noveto Systems via AP

Coming tomorrow: A new futuristic audio tech called “sound beaming" that sends sound directly to a listener without the need for headphones, AP reports.

  • The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them.

Not just fun and games: The device will allow office workers to listen to conference calls without interrupting colleagues, and the lack of headphones means it’s possible to hear other sounds in the room clearly.

  • “You don’t believe it because it sounds like a speaker, but no one else can hear it … it’s supporting you and you’re in the middle of everything. It’s happening around you.”