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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.

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.

Go deeper

Updated 18 hours ago - World

Oxford University says its coronavirus vaccine is up to 90% effective

A scientist working during at the Oxford Vaccine Group's laboratory facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, England, in June. Photo: Steve Parsons/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The University of Oxford announced Monday that a COVID-19 vaccine it's developed with AstraZeneca is 70.4% effective in preventing people from developing symptoms, per interim data from Phase 3 trials.

Why it matters: The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is shown to work in different age groups and can be stored at fridge temperature. It is much cheaper than other vaccines in development and is part of the global COVAX initiative, designed to ensure doses go where they're most needed.

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 hours ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key information about the effective COVID-19 vaccines — Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries.
  2. Health: U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking recordsWhy we're numb to 250,000 deaths.
  3. World: England to impose stricter regional systemU.S. hotspots far outpacing Europe's — Portugal to ban domestic travel for national holidays.
  4. Economy: The biggest pandemic labor market drags.
  5. Sports: Coronavirus precautions leave college basketball schedule in flux.