Now that the COVID-19 vaccine has finally arrived, the health care system shows signs of an utter failure to administer it with the urgency necessary to help dying patients.
The failure of the vaccine’s distribution seems similar to the failures we experienced months ago as the country’s political and medical experts failed to suppress the spread.
According to the New Yorker, public-health officials understood exactly what the necessary course of action would be as soon as the COVID-19 virus hit the country. A proper response required three basic building blocks: test, trace, and isolate — in those early months.
Unfortunately, misunderstandings, misinformation, and miscalculations — about how the virus is spread, surface versus aerosol transmission, about mask-wearing, about the relative safety of outdoor socializing, among other things caused Americans to be too lax with their efforts to prevent the spread.
Now, nearly a year into the pandemic, we show the same signs of a lax attitude towards the vaccine.
In September, Donald Trump promised 100 million vaccinations would reach Americans by the end of 2020. Yet as the country only has 40 million doses, only 2 million of those have been administered- which is barely 10 percent of the goal.
At this current rate, achieving sufficient vaccination to reach herd immunity and end this pandemic in the U.S. would take about seven years.
This first batch of vaccine is set to expire in late January, just as Joe Biden is set to take office.
Even if America picked up the pace to accelerate administering the vaccine, local bureaucracy and storage capacity issues could cost many doses that are set to expire soon- to go to waste.