Thousands and thousands of Us residents are counting on a COVID-19 vaccine to suppress the global pandemic and return life to typical.

While 1 or additional alternatives could be available toward the close of this year or early next, the route to offering vaccines to 330 million people stays unclear for the local overall health officers expected to carry out the perform.

“We have not gotten a whole lot of data about how this is heading to roll out,” explained Dr. Umair Shah, government director of Texas’ Harris County General public Overall health office, which includes Houston.

In a four-site memo this summer, the federal Facilities for Sickness Command and Avoidance informed overall health departments across the place to draft vaccination programs by Oct. 1 “to coincide with the earliest possible launch of COVID-19 vaccine.”

But health departments that have been underfunded for decades say they at the moment lack the staff members, dollars and instruments to teach men and women about vaccines and then to distribute, administer and track hundreds of thousands and thousands of doses. Nor do they know when, or if, they’ll get federal help to do that.

Dozens of medical professionals, nurses and health and fitness officials interviewed by Kaiser Overall health News and The Linked Press expressed concern about the country’s readiness to perform mass vaccinations, as properly as frustration with months of inconsistent facts from the federal governing administration.