BY DAVE PRICE
Daily Post Editor
America developed a vaccine for Covid-19 in record time. Nobody thought the scientists and pharmaceutical companies could come up with vaccines in a year. But they did. It was a miracle.
Turns out that the people at the state and county level distributing the vaccine aren’t as bright. In Los Angeles, County Supervisor Janice Hahn is furious over reports that clinics are throwing out perfectly good vaccines because people scheduled to get the shots aren’t showing up for their appointments.
The multi-phased, multiple tier system Gov. Gavin Newsom devised for deciding who gets shots is so rigid that workers are afraid to just walk outside of their clinics and offer the shots to anybody on the street. Instead, they just throw out perfectly good vaccines.
California is at the bottom of states when it comes to distribution of the vaccines. Only 38% of the 3.1 million doses the state has received have ended up in peoples’ arms. Close to 2 million doses is sitting in freezers.
West Virginia has a simpler system of distributing vaccines. It is vaccinating residents at the fastest rate of all 50 states.
While vaccines waste away in Los Angeles, the pace of vaccinating people in the Bay Area is excruciatingly slow. Both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties are stuck in Phase 1A, which calls for vaccinating nursing home residents and the homes’s care providers.
Still, only half of the 150,000 doses Santa Clara County has received have been administered.
Nobody knows who is in charge. The state? The county? The CDC?
“Almost every practical question I ask anybody, the answer I get is a shrug of the shoulders,” Dr. Robert Wachter, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at UCSF, told the Los Angeles Times. “It is not good. It just feels like the plans have been made without any attention to the practicalities of the last mile.”
This humongous foul-up has left people frustrated. They call doctor offices and pharmacies about vaccines and get no answers.
Santa Clara and San Mateo counties have some of the brightest minds when it comes to medicine, but we are sadly behind on all of this.
Gov. Newsom had the summer and fall to plan the distribution of these vaccines. What was he done? How many mask-less dinners could he consume at the French Laundry in Yountville?
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Get it in writing
If Congress approves Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion (with a T) spending package for Covid, I hope our representatives demand some accountability. Specifically, this bill should say how many vaccines need to be administered before schools can reopen. How many shots should be administered before restaurants can resume indoor dining.
One of the most frustrating things about this crisis is the constant moving of the goal posts by local, state and federal health officials.
Editor Dave Price’s column appears on Mondays. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.