This morning brings another example of how the Biden administration’s much-touted plan to expand and accelerate the pace of vaccinations is less than meets the eye. The plan to establish 100 federally supported vaccination sites by the end of February means the federal government will deploy tents and staffers . . . but not more doses of vaccine, which is pretty fundamental to running a successful vaccination site.
Eager to protect more people against the coronavirus, health officials in Oklahoma jumped at the chance to add large, federally supported vaccination sites. They wanted them in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and a third, mid-size city, Lawton, thinking the extra help would allow them to send more doses to smaller communities that had yet to benefit.
“We felt like if we could get them in the metro areas, what that would allow us to do is . . . free up a lot of our other resources to do more targeted vaccinations in underserved areas,” said state Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed.
Those plans are now on hold after the state learned that the sites would not come with additional vaccines. Instead, the doses would have to be pulled from the state’s existing allocation, and the three sites alone might have used more than half of Oklahoma’s vaccine supply.
“We’re not prepared to pull the trigger on it unless it comes with vaccine,” Reed said.
Yes, this is a large and complicated endeavor that needs to be coordinated with 50 state governments and thousands of county governments, but we still have too many stories of expected shipments of vaccine doses simply not arriving, with little explanation:
A delivery shortfall of COVID-19 vaccines will cause a delay in administering the shots in San Diego County, according to a county spokesperson.
The county confirmed an expected delivery of Moderna vaccines did not arrive in San Diego on Friday as planned, which will lead to a delay in giving vaccinations and pausing confirmed appointments. For now, priority will be given to second dose appointments with doses the county currently has.
As a result, the vaccination super station in downtown San Diego will not be open Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the county spokesperson told NBC 7. Appointments scheduled for Friday and Saturday will be honored at the site but will depend on availability. Appointments at this super station will automatically reschedule through the UCSD MyChart, according to the county.
The county was not aware of how many vaccines were slated to be delivered Friday but were notified Thursday night that the doses would not arrive. The shipment is now expected on Tuesday.
Members of the Biden administration keep telling us they’ve ramped up supply and given sites more assurances about how much vaccine to expect in the weeks to come. So why are sites still missing expected deliveries?