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Sweet dreams

Thursday, Jan 21, 2021

* Renuka Rayasam for Politico Nightly

Vaccine supply will be the biggest bottleneck in the short term. States are expected to run out of doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine within days. States have had to cancel thousands of vaccine appointments. Adding to the crunch is that hospitals have a limited supply of syringes that can extract the most doses from a single vial — up to seven doses are in one Pfizer vial and 11 doses in a Moderna vial.

Biden invoked the Defense Production Act today to boost available vaccine doses and syringes, but pharma executives say they won’t be able to immediately dramatically increase capacity. In a few months additional vaccine candidates, especially one from Johnson & Johnson that requires only one dose, will also help boost vaccine supply.

Within weeks: This will be the largest mass adult vaccination campaign in U.S. history. And it requires two doses. There is no process to make sure that everyone who got their first dose can and will come back for their second doses. There is no central database tracking who got the vaccine and which one they got. Ideally, Hotez said, there would be one federal registry that would track that information, but right now providers largely have to depend on those who got a first dose to remember to get a second shot.

Many patients are struggling to even get a first appointment and there’s no guarantee that they will be able to come back a second time. “Anytime you have a two-dose regimen, some people aren’t going to come back,” said Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Finding people to administer doses, especially in rural or remote locations without health care providers, is also shaping up to be a major obstacle. About 20 states, including West Virginia and North Dakota which have led the country in distributing vaccines, have activated the National Guard to help with vaccine distribution. But in order to meet the pace of 2 to 3 million doses a day, states would need a plan to bring back retired health care workers or train others to administer the vaccine. Some are doing this, even bringing on vets and dentists, but more workers are needed.

[Had to delete an identical post because I discovered emojis can’t be put into my headlines. Oops.]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

10 Comments
  1. - Two Cent Ante - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 11:55 pm:

    I think implementing the use the Defense Production Act was the right move for vaccine supplies (though would also like it utilized for testing and PPE as well).

    Being a history nerd and thinking how the federal government mobilized for previous wars, recruiting a medical corps to get basic training on administering vaccines and providing first responder services (such as an EMT-B) in the event of allergic reaction wouldn’t be a bad idea. There is an interest already among recent high school graduates attracting them to the medical fields - consider a carrot for service to the country in a time of emergency.

    Would also like to see the old school war posters - perhaps issued by the U.S. HHS Dept. or DoD- linking mask wearing to civic duty and patriotism.

    Oh. And a bond drive.


  2. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:08 am:

    It is difficult to grapple with the extent to which our national leadership under the Trump administration hobbled our nation, and I cannot begin to understand the lack of moral conscience one must possess to be able to deny that’s the case.

    So much opportunity has been wasted over the last 4 years while the delusions of the GOP were forced on our country with unabashed zeal and now there are tens of thousands of dead Americans whose deaths were preventable. The enablers of our the sabotage of our nation must be held to account and their crimes must not be forgotten.

    Illinois is currently represented in Congress by fiends who aided and abetted our national tragedy and ignored and denied evidence of crimes against us, and most recently sought to bring legitimacy to an attack on our Democracy. They threaten further division unless their malicious whims are met.

    If we look past their actions over the last four years we will be making their stain upon our State permanent.


  3. - very old soil - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 12:50 am:

    Oh /:”*^^&%$. (banned words and punctuation)


  4. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 8:23 am:

    Thinkin about what Candy Dogood stated about the morality of the previous administration and their enablers is incredibly disheartening. While wrapping themselves in the American Flag and claiming to be patriots, their actions were antithetical to those claims. By sowing chaos they made us more vulnerable to those who wish to do us harm.

    Thinking about it a little differently, is this what “small government” is? Inept and incapable of handling needs that exceed the capacity of the individual states? FEMA and the manpower and skill of the military medical corps should have been mobilized to address distribution.

    Instead we got the wanna be romanov’s.


  5. - Arock - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:25 am:

    Bloomberg has been tracking America’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, stating that an average of 806,716 shots were recorded every day for the last week. Yes that truly shows that no plan of action was pushed forward by the previous administration but somehow in about a month we are nearing the one million shots a day that the press doubted we could get too. Yes we had higher hopes at the beginning but then again the CDC and FDA have been a drag on many things happening faster. Plus the FDA is not allowing the combining of bottles to extract the most available vaccine in every vial.


  6. - Jocko - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    Others have said this, but isn’t it possible for the military to play a role in this (e.g. procurement and/or logistics)? It would be nice to get a little something out of the $705 billion we just gave them.


  7. - From DaZoo - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 9:37 am:

    @Two Cent Ante
    I like your idea of a medical-corp with a carrot. Perhaps the carrot being paying some college loan debt for time of service.

    To the post:
    I’m not surprised by this finding. My SIL complained about how unfriendly it was for finding where to get vaccinated in Cook while surrounding counties had easier to find information. My parents are on a waiting list (in MI) and have been seeing local news stories about multiple, independent lists; asking people who may have put their names on these multiple lists to remember to take their name off once they have received the shot. We need better planning and logistics efforts.


  8. - Scarce - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:28 am:

    Jocko - anyone who has seen federal government contracting up close and personal doesn’t want it anywhere near vaccine procurement. It would be a mess.


  9. - Froganon - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Scarce - because the private sector is doing such a slam dunk job of distribution now/s. Governments underwrote the vaccine developement. It’s hard to imagine how many lives could have been saved if Trump’s incompetence ans small government ideology hadn’t hobbled our government response and support. Harnessing the private sector with government organization has worked in other countries and even here (in the past).


  10. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:58 am:

    I really thought there were people working out the details of the distribution. This needs a bipartisan review commission.


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