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What The U.S. Can Do To Speed Up COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Three nearly empty bottles of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine which can not be mixed to provide an addition dose for a vaccination shot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Three nearly empty bottles of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine which can not be mixed to provide an addition dose for a vaccination shot. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

President Joe Biden’s new bar for the COVID vaccine rollout: 200 million doses by summer. But what about people who hope to get the vaccine now? What can the government really do to speed up distribution?


Dr. Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory panel. (@DrJulieMorita)

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health. (@ashishkjha)

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Lennore Vega, retired teacher from Naples, Florida.

Erin Ourada, administrator for Custer Health, a public health department in Mandan, North Dakota.

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ABC News: “Crushing the coronavirus: What’s Biden’s ‘clear, unified approach’ on testing?” — “As much of the nation waits on vaccines and variants swirl the globe, experts said President Joe Biden’s plan to tackle the pandemic this year will hinge on his ability to bulk up the nation’s ability to test for the coronavirus — a massive undertaking that will require cash and industry cooperation.”

Wall Street Journal: “Covid-19 Vaccine Sites Call In Volunteers, Retirees to Staff Rollout” — “Bill Renda expected to spend this time of year traveling and visiting family, were it not for the pandemic. Instead, the retired orthopedic surgeon from Louisville, Ky., and his wife, Sally, spent much of January in a cold parking lot, directing drivers to a place for observation by medical staff after receiving doses of Covid-19 vaccine.”

Brookings: “COVID-19 vaccinations: Why are some states and localities so much more successful?” — “As frustration spreads over the slow pace of vaccination for Covid-19, it is instructive to compare two states. One has the highest median household income of any state in the country—the other, the second lowest. One has the second lowest poverty rate, 8.2%, while the other’s is one of the highest at 17.6%. In one, about 40% of the adult population has a BA degree or more; in the other, about 20%.”

Associated Press: “Oregon puts debate over race in vaccine rollout to test” — “The role that race should play in deciding who gets priority for the COVID-19 vaccine in the next phase of the rollout is being put to the test in Oregon as tensions around equity and access to the shots emerge nationwide.”

KNWA: “COVID-19 VACCINATION PLAN: Arkansas compared to other states” — “Each state gets to make its own vaccination plan. According to Arkansas, it’s following CDC guidelines closely with a few changes — prioritizing those 70 and older and school staff.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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