America had no problem reaching the horrific milestone 20 million cases of CoronavirusBut reaching the federal government’s goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020 proved that A big problem.
Just under 3 million Americans were grafted by the time the crystal ball was dropped in New York’s semi-deserted Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve to mark the end of a hellish year.
Vaccine distribution in the United States is now routinely described as “Chaos, With criticism that incompetent officials are “failed” efforts.
More than 10,000 people have died in the United States in the last three days of 2020 alone, taking the national death toll to nearly 350,000 so far, including the worst 24-hour toll for the entire pandemic when more than 3,700 people died on Wednesday. , According to Johns Hopkins University data.
So vaccines are the great hope in fighting an outbreak. But experts warn there could be hundreds of thousands of deaths if the vaccination process does not go quickly and forcefully on the right track.
“Basically, the federal government is ruining the vaccine rollout,” said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.
“They thought their job ends when the vaccine gets to the states, and there’s really no well-defined plan.”
He added: “What America is experiencing is the result of inefficiency in federal leadership – the entire pandemic has been spoiled by a group of people, not just Donald Trump – who don’t understand how things work and can’t get something that works effectively.”
Jha pointed out that none of this group was the chief American expert in the field of infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, or the coordinator of the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx.
If the launch continues at the current pace, Jha said, it could take “many months and years” to achieve the nation’s vaccination goals.
He warned that if this delay continued for months, it could cause the United States to lose “several hundreds of thousands of people.”
NBC analyzing Earlier this week I found that at this current vaccination rate, “it will be.” It takes nearly 10 years to impregnate enough Americans To control the epidemic. “
New developed vaccines Coming on the stream So far in the west from Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca are lifesavers, and more are still being tried.
“It appears that the vaccine can reduce the risk of developing symptoms of Covid disease,” said Bruce Wai Lee, a professor at the Coney Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy in New York.
But he warned: “Every week, two weeks, the delay of three weeks, while cases increase, is costing lives – especially if we are talking about healthcare professionals.”
The state of public vaccinations in many US regions stems from a combination of scant funding and dispersed logistics.
Public health in the United States is chronically underfunded. Local and state officials have long warned federal authorities that they need more than $ 8 billion in additional funds to build a weapons shooting infrastructure. Instead, the White House gave states only $ 340 million for vaccination preparations.
For months, some lawmakers in Congress have been outraged by providing more money to distribute vaccines. It wasn’t until last Sunday, when Trump signed the deferred new coronavirus aid bill, that an additional $ 8 billion in funding was raised. Stat News explained.
However, more money for the states will not completely solve the problem. Experts said a unified national plan is necessary to address logistical obstacles.
“Not enough production and dosing were done,” said Lee, who is also executive director of Public Health Informatics, Mathematical and Operations Research at Cuny.
“Of the doses dispensed, the vast majority were not administered. Either they get it [caught] In the supply chain … or your lack of management, which is not very surprising, because there was no clear and coordinated national plan. “
The federal government’s decision to put the initiative on states on how to give people doses of the vaccine has exacerbated these problems.
A must-have for Pfizer / BioNetch vaccine Store Between -112 ° F (-80 ° C) and -94 ° F (-70 ° C), while Moderna Strike should be stored at around -4 F (-20 ° C) – which means sites may have a hard time finding Adequate freezing capacity.
It also lacks federal coordination on vaccine accessories such as syringes, needles and alcohol swabs.
“We have to remember, earlier this year, that the test got worse because we ran out of cotton buds,” Lee said.
Several reports across the United States paint a random or limited picture.
Texas residents complained that providers don’t pick up the phone when they call for information, that official websites are difficult to browse – and that they don’t know where to get the vaccine, mentioned Dallas ABC’s WFAA-TV.
In Florida, where people aged 65 and over can start getting vaccinated, elderly people have been seen camping overnight for vaccination.
Terry Beth Hadler, 69, lined up in a parking lot overnight with hundreds of others outside Bonita Springs Library in southwest Florida.
She waited 14 hours, and told the Associated Press that a fight almost broke out before dawn on Tuesday, when some people stormed.
“I fear the event is too widespread,” Hadler said. “I was horrified.”
Near Miami, Seniors Flooded with Telephone Lines and the Department of Health Website in an often futile attempt to get vaccination appointments, South Florida Sun Sentinel mentioned.
New York City, the world’s hotspot for the coronavirus in early spring, is also experiencing a slow distribution.
The New York Times reported on Friday that the city received more than 340,000 doses but only gave about 88,000 doses.
There’s no denying that a massive vaccination campaign is difficult to implement in the midst of a public health crisis that has engulfed health workers and services in many parts of the country.
“Hospital doses will not be given overnight. Hospitals are moving at a very measured pace. Service providers need training and health care workers need to receive education about the vaccine,” Claire Hanan, president of the Association of Immunization Directors, said in an emailed statement.
She added: “Hospitals are also suffering from severe pressure at the present time, and we are asking for a lot of their time, resources, space, energy and effort to coordinate vaccination clinics, and they should approach vaccination in the midst of caring for patients.”
The pressure is severe.
“We expect to be moving at lightning speed, and I think they are actually moving at a very good pace since this is a brand new vaccine,” said Jessica Gastman, professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health.
This does not mean that delay, even if anticipated, should not be addressed immediately. Both facts are true: Delays were almost inevitable, but they will cost lives, she indicated.
“Hundreds of thousands of people are dying and the vaccine should be released as quickly as possible,” said Ghostman.
Some public health experts believe the United States needs to take a more innovative approach, including looking at Latest UK plan Which aims to get as many people as possible for their first dose, instead of Dosing In order to ensure ready quantities of supplies scarce in the beginning to administer the second shot required to the same people a few weeks after the first shot.
“In the UK, they spacing the amount of time between the first dose and the second dose, which is a very creative idea,” said Ghostman. “I am confident that the UK will not make this decision without data to support it.”
Brown’s Jha said the science showing efficacy with a single dose is not as strong as current dilemma. The United States could continue to follow its current approach – unwilling to take any scientific risks and work “exactly on the book” to distribute vaccines or see if something new is working to stop the crisis.
“I think the UK approach to a single dose is the right approach,” Jha said. “In my opinion, it is more reasonable given the state of play that we are in, that we should go forward with this.”
On Friday, however, Fauci He came out againFollow the UK’s second shot delay model in order to provide partial protection that a single dose gives to more people.
Meanwhile, some states the decision To prioritize older adults over essential non-healthcare workers, which conflicts with federal recommendations, may create logistical challenges.
However, “with regards to getting the vaccine into the arms as quickly as possible, that might not be a bad thing,” Hanan said.
“Countries didn’t have enough time or resources to set up these systems, so there will be obstacles. But again, the bottom line is, every day a vaccine is launched is a success.”
Brown’s Jha said the United States could get back on track.
Even in the midst of suffering, he concluded, “I think you can make a moderate set of changes, and I think you can fix that.”