Novel coronavirus pneumonia deaths were recorded in January 2021. At the same time, the distribution of vaccines in the United States also fell into chaos, with more than 20 million doses of vaccines already distributed missing. An article in Fortune magazine on January 31 analyzed the reasons for the confusion of vaccination in the United States, including slow delivery of vaccines, different distribution policies, and lack of communication between the government and local governments.
The excerpts are as follows
Slow delivery and insufficient reserves of vaccines
Whether Pfizer or Modena new crown vaccines are produced, they must be delivered to the public health system, sanatorium institutions and pharmaceutical partners. This raises the “last mile” problem. Some medical institutions have no idea how many doses of the new vaccine they will receive in a week. Melanie swift, who helps monitor vaccination at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, says it’s basically a temporary process at local health care.
The federal government is in trouble with the vaccine stockpile. The U.S. government has previously said that as more and more people are eligible for the new vaccine, there are enough vaccines to meet the needs of the States. However, after the government suggested that people over the age of 65 could be vaccinated in mid January, states such as Washington, New York and Oregon did not implement the distribution plan because of the serious shortage of vaccine reserves.
In addition, there is a shortage of basic materials, such as vials and syringes, to make the new vaccine. Although Biden’s Government on January 27 quoted the “defense production act” to require enterprises to speed up the production of such materials, it is not clear which company is responsible for manufacturing.
Vaccination programs vary from state to state
After Pfizer and Modena vaccines were authorized for emergency use, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released to who a list of recommended priorities with the key word “recommended.”. As former U.S. Department of health and human services (HHS) secretary Azar said, states are ultimately responsible for deciding their own vaccine promotion plans.
For example, in Idaho and Missouri, the proportion of people who have received at least one or two doses of vaccine is 4.5%, while in Alaska, the proportion is as high as 11.4%. Although some of them can be explained by different population densities, different policies in different states also play a role. The Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care think tank, released a report saying: “in general, we find that there are increasing differences between states. In the early stage of vaccine distribution, whether you can get vaccinated depends largely on where you live. In addition, the vaccination schedule is very different in each state, which makes the vaccination situation in the United States complicated. “
The priority and distribution mechanism are unclear
There are reasons for the phased promotion of new crown vaccine. An obvious problem is the shortage of supply. In fact, Pfizer and Modena new crown vaccines have not been fully approved technically, but are only authorized for emergency use under special circumstances. This requires a priority vaccination issue. Just like the early detection of new coronavirus, the first batch of recommended vaccinators include front-line medical workers, nursing staff and elderly people in nursing homes, because they are high-risk groups of virus infection.
More or less all Americans will be eligible to be vaccinated as they move forward. However, the US media recently disclosed that some people have jumped the queue to get the new crown vaccine. In fact, in the United States, it is sometimes difficult to verify whether a person is really eligible for vaccination. After all, the vaccinator does not need to produce work certificates or tax documents. There is another practical problem, that is, in some areas, there are not enough qualified people to be vaccinated, which leads to the deterioration of the vaccine and its rejection. In order to avoid waste, some medical institutions will also vaccinate people who do not meet the requirements. Thus, the chaotic distribution mechanism creates inequality for high-risk groups.
People’s willingness to vaccinate is not high
If it’s the “last mile” challenge to get the new vaccine where it’s needed, then it’s the “last inch” challenge to get the vaccine into the arm. Some Americans still have doubts about the safety of the new vaccine.
The Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 20% of respondents said they would not be vaccinated and would only be vaccinated if required; another 31% were in a wait-and-see state. According to the prediction, more than 70% or even 90% of the people must be vaccinated with the new coronavirus in order to realize the mass immunization against the new coronavirus in the United States.
Lack of data information sharing system
Tariq tomes, chief information officer of Minnesota, described the vaccine distribution dilemma in the United States as “an issue closely related to data communication”, and called for more investment in infrastructure in the field of health information. During the epidemic, communication is everything, but the system responsible for sharing data is largely outdated and unable to cope with the complex information. Some EHD providers have to create special systems to store data.
Information about the demand for new vaccines must be passed from local hospitals to the state and federal governments, which must then communicate with vaccine manufacturers, drug distributors, logistics companies, pharmacies, and the public. CDC does provide a platform for these data, but it still needs local institutions to solve technical problems and convey data needs. CDC only plays a coordinating role. (Zhang Qi, overseas)