COVID vaccine distribution will get off to a shaky begin

A Joyful New Yr to all of you, readers.

It’s good to be again in your inbox after the vacation break. It feels a bit of unusual given the occasions of the previous 24 hours. However a pandemic doesn’t cease for a political information cycle, nonetheless bleak. In actual fact, it’s inextricably linked to the choices of our leaders.

I don’t simply imply political leaders, although they play a vital position which they’ve typically bungled, together with with the present tempo of COVID vaccine distribution. We’re starting to see the final mile issues, the final word supply of a product to an individual, which include such an bold vaccination marketing campaign.

Earlier at the moment, the American Hospital Affiliation (AHA) put it bluntly in a letter to Well being and Human Companies Secretary Alex Azar: “There was nice celebration in America‚Äôs hospitals and well being programs final month as we administered the primary vaccines to our brave scientific workers who’ve been working to avoid wasting the lives of COVID-19 sufferers. However the sluggish tempo of the vaccine rollout has led to concern about whether or not the duty of vaccinating all who’re capable of take the vaccine will occur as rapidly as federal leaders have urged it could.”

There are many issues that led to this second, and I’ll have a extra wide-ranging report within the coming days. However right here’s only a sampling of the problems: How do you guarantee there are sufficient out there syringes and glass vials to distribute the vaccine? That’s one drawback that could possibly be solved the Protection Manufacturing Act (DPA), which might mobilize corporations to fabricate important elements. Trump administration officers have beforehand acknowledged that the DPA is already being deployed.

Then there’s the logistical query of which vaccine somebody may very well obtain, and the way the information of these vaccines are saved. Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID vaccine has one set of necessities. Moderna’s vaccine has one other, with much less stringent cooling necessities.

That’s an enormous consider how these vaccines shall be distributed. As an example, would a rural well being system be shipped the Moderna vaccine fairly than Pfizer’s, whereas bigger well being programs get the latter on account of their operational capability? And the way precisely are digital well being report distributors and logistics corporations guaranteeing that issues don’t break alongside the availability chain?

Far more on this quickly. Learn on for the day’s information, and see you subsequent week.

Sy Mukherjee

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