Like many of you, I am getting frustrated at the lack of a plan for getting the Covid vaccine into the arms of Americans. The previous regime left the current regime with absolutely nothing in place to facilitate this process. In fact, the previous regime had no plan at all to get people vaccinated.
We can talk about the complete abandonment of the American people by the previous idiots at another time. Right now, what we need is a comprehensive, and effective, national plan to get vaccines out so that people can start to get vaccinated. I know the Biden team has put together a 101 page worksheet on how to get this done, but really, it shouldn't be that complicated.
We are not talking about developing the actual vaccine, that hard work has been completed. All we are talking about is getting it from point A, to point B, and into our arms. We do this every year with the flu vaccine, it isn't that much more complicated that we need to reinvent the wheel.
Out here in California, and specifically in Riverside County, and the Coachella Valley, there is a complete breakdown in the process. It is easier to force the stop building of a house that is encroaching on the speckled parfait humdinger flea, than it is to make an appointment to get vaccinated.
I have been trying for weeks to secure an appointment, with not even a sniff of a chance in succeeding so far. My first attempt was a complete joke. I tried to do it via the county health page, as instructed, but wasn't able to even open up the first step. I then tried to call their 800 number for some help, only to get a recording that says that number is not a legitimate number. Interesting. I then turned to the emergency senior hot line number where it rang six times, picked up, and then immediately hung up on me. OK.
Saturday the county opened up another 11,000 slots, with a new and improved web page, only to have that crash before anyone could even begin. To their credit, they had it back up and running within minutes, and by then every slot was filled. 11,000 appointments filled in 28 minutes, of which 15 of those minutes of the time was spent down.
So far California has used only 38% of the vaccines they've been sent. Only Virginia is worse in filling actual vaccines to doses. Here in my little corner of the world, people aged 65+ represent about 25% of the total population. It makes it nearly impossible to get priority since everyone is a priority.
Additionally, we've received only about 114,000 doses so far here, 92,000 of them have gone to health care workers/first responders, as they should. That leaves around 22,000 doses for 363,000 seniors, not good odds. It would not feel as bad if they had an actual system in place that let you know when you might expect to be able to get your shot. Instead, it is hit or miss, and now no one knows when they might get vaccinated.
If the nation's priority, once front line people are taken care of, is to vaccinate anyone over 65, then send out doses based on the population of people 65+. If state X has 10% seniors, send them 10% of the available doses. Then, each state can do the same for each county, and each county can do the same for each city. Not exactly brain surgery.
Use existing community centers, empty schools, and national drug store chains to administer shots, just like we are doing for testing and the flu shots. This does not seem like a big ask. We are still losing over 4000 people a day nationwide to this pandemic, you would think we would be in a bigger hurry to get people safe.
Let's make this easier, not more complicated. I have two 90+ mothers in our care, and neither one of them can operate, or even has, a computer or smart phone. How are they supposed to get an appointment? If I wasn't here to help they would never get a chance. This is just not right. We need to figure out a better way.
I saw, with disgust, Florida making old people sit outside overnight in parking lots to try to get a shot. This is criminal. Is there not one ounce of common sense left in our country anymore?
Look, we don't care if you go alphabetically, or by height, or by income, just set up a system and get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. It shouldn't be this difficult.