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Covid-19 Vaccines Are Getting Stuck at the Last Step
Getting vaccines to community pharmacies will help speed up distribution: Expert
American Pharmacists Association President Michael Hogue discusses how pharmacies can help improve and accelerate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In South Texas, a man slept in his car for two nights straight so he wouldn’t lose his place in a line of hundreds of people at a mass-vaccination event. In Western Kentucky, residents registered for vaccination slots online, only to find when they arrived that their doses had been taken by walk-ins. In New Mexico, state officials scrambled to hire more people to staff a vaccination hotline after it was overwhelmed with callers.
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The biggest challenges in America’s Covid-19 vaccination effort have turned out to be getting shots into the arms of the right people. As of Friday morning, some 31 million vaccine doses had been distributed nationwide, but only about 12 million had been administered, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal government shipped those doses to states around the country, with states establishing their own criteria for who should get the vaccine first. But it has been up to local health departments, hospitals and other providers to actually manage the tangle of logistics and many have been unable to do so effectively.
The result is an erratic and disjointed process that is causing frustration and confusion around the country.