Rural Counties in jeopardy for initial vaccination plan

With all of the buzz around the approval of the vaccines for COVID-19 from Moderna and Pfizer, the next question naturally how to get the vaccine to those that are most susceptible to the virus. As it stands currently, the federal government will lean on pharmacies to help distribute vaccines as soon as they become available, however a new study shows that nearly a third of rural counties in the US do not have a pharmacy that is connected to a network that can participate in the federal COVID-19 vaccination program. This study, done by the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy and Analysis states that 750 of the nearly 2000 nonmetropolitan countries do not have a pharmacy listed in the HHS vaccine distribution partnership. The populations of these counties account for nearly 13% of the total rural population, which is nearly 5.6 million people. Currently there is not a fix to mitigate this challenge.

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