The Arlington County Board approved the use of state funds to distribute coronavirus vaccines in a Saturday meeting.
Shortly after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, Arlington County accepted two state grants to help with distribution once it’s available, approving the use of a total of $660,000 in state funds for the cause.
“It’s much needed funding because it’s quite expensive,” said Libby Garvey, chair of the county board.
The funds will be used to hire temporary medical and non-medical staff and cover their travel costs, as well as to rent facilities and operating clinics.
The money will also help with storing the vaccine.
“[The Pfizer] vaccine has to be stored at minus 90 degrees,” Garvey said. “That’s not your average freezer that can store this vaccine, so there are a lot of associated costs.”
She went on to say that the county expected “the first vaccines to come soon,” though that shipment would be “limited.”
Garvey said that healthcare personnel and long term care facilities have the first priority for the vaccine, but “the next priority groups are still being determined,” Garvey said.
She says it’s been difficult to plan for what comes next.
“The lack of federal leadership just makes it so difficult,” Garvey said. “Every state is kind of on their own.”
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