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Struggles of Vaccine Distribution

Updated: Jun 9

Contributor: Micah Rea

3/5/2021

As COVID-19 vaccinations are made available to the public, there are struggles in guaranteeing the process is carried out in a fair and effective way. One problem that surrounds vaccine distribution is inconsistency. Every state, and many counties have different policies regarding who receives the vaccination. This leads to confusion, and oftentimes the vaccines go to whoever can sign up first.


Based on data from Miami, Philadelphia, and New York City, it is apparent that wealthier, primarily white neighborhoods have been receiving a higher percentage of the vaccines available. This is problematic because the vaccines are going to individuals who have less risk in contracting COVID-19. The population who is contracting and dying from COVID-19 at the highest rates, also have the lowest vaccination rates.


Another difficulty with the vaccination process is long wait times have been reported in various centers such as the Javits Center in New York City. A major factor in determining what percentage of the population will receive the vaccine is convenience. Many individuals cannot miss an entire day of work to receive the vaccine. Once the vaccine is made available to the entire public, these wait times are only expected to increase.


According to the ongoing research project by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 7% of Americans will only get the vaccine if absolutely required, and another 13% will refuse the vaccine. Adding hour long wait lines, and more hoops to jump through will likely deter even more Americans. Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo acknowledged that they are experiencing growing pains with the extreme wait times, however they hope to address these concerns in real time.


President Biden announced that there will be enough vaccines for every American adult by the end of May. However, considering the struggles of the current vaccination process, will Americans be willing to sacrifice large sums of their time in order to get the vaccine?


Take-Aways:


- This vaccine process shows that convenience is king. Organizations such as Amazon express this through their business model, which incorporates fast delivery, low prices, and a wide selection.


- When offering a universal service, a business should address the entire community, not just the affluent.



Sources:


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/03/us/covid-vaccine-appointment.html


https://nypost.com/2021/03/02/hours-long-waits-reported-at-javits-center-covid-vaccine-site-in-nyc/


https://www.kff.org/report-section/kff-covid-19-vaccine-monitor-january-2021-vaccine-hesitancy/


https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/02/nation/biden-expects-enough-covid-vaccine-all-adult-americans-by-end-may-2-months-earlier-than-anticipated/



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