Vaccines Are Taking Too Long To Distribute
The slow roll-out of the coronavirus vaccines is somewhat of a mystery to most people. With nearly 30 million doses available, as of this writing, only about 6 million have been administered.
Over a month ago the US FDA followed the UK with an emergency approval for distribution of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, but to date, less than 25% of the vaccine available to the US has been distributed and administered to patients.
As a country, we have to understand that manufacturing literally billions of doses of anything is going to take time. Even though we have millions of doses available, there are not enough to get the job done. But, it does seem like the ones we have should be distributed and administered to protect as many people as possible. So why isn’t that happening?
It is a disorganized effort that results in doses sitting in freezers rather than going into people’s arms. I want my vaccine, but I’m not a front-line worker, I’m not old enough, I don’t have the right position, and a host of other reasons why I can’t get the vaccine.
The decisions of leaders in government over who should and shouldn’t be first in line lead to confusion that causes the doses we do have to sit unused. The debate goes on and on, mostly because there isn’t enough available for everyone, and we need to make sure we have the 2nd dose available to those who have gotten the 1st dose.
Having said that, you hear political leaders every day arguing over what to do. It appears at this time that this crazy political environment may be more responsible for the delay that anything else. The amount of energy and confusion around the presidential election has its cost and the cost is delays in getting the doses out.
The need to keep the vaccine at subzero temperatures creates a unique logistical challenge. It will take leaders in healthcare and government to figure out how to get this moving.
On the current timeline, it will take months to get enough doses to go around, probably late summer or fall, if we’re lucky. It could take much longer. But, what is shocking to me is that we as a country have the power to produce whatever we want through the Defense Production Act. The president can essentially require any company to stop what they’re doing and produce the vaccine. But, no one seems to be addressing this.
This raises a serious question, “Why?” Doing research online doesn’t seem to provide any reason why this is not being done. Neither Trump nor Biden has mentioned it. If that is not the most confusing thing seen during this whole thing, what is? We needed a vaccine, now we have one, but we can’t get it manufactured or distributed. Hopefully this will change!
As it stands now, this is just the beginning of the vaccination effort and surely, just as we have learned more about treatment of COVID patients, we will get better and better at producing and administering the vaccine to Americans and other countries, so we can put COVID-19 in our rear view mirror.