Gov Cuomo's Can't Even Seem To Manage Vaccine Rollout- Many 'Thrown Out' Or Expired
I don't know why New York Gov Cuomo refused to roll out the vaccine to high-risk and elderly patients until all medical workers were vaccinated. If that doesn't sound doomed enough, instead of sending the vaccines directly to local doctor's offices the initial rollout went directly to hospitals where I guess there were to be distributed.
If that were the case, Cuomo should have informed the hospitals. With his tyrannical rule over New York, hospital administrators were too worried about possible backlash from Cuomo to even consider distributing the vaccine to clinics themselves. Not that it was their job to begin with.
The strict guidelines of who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 shot has caused vaccines to sit in freezers and not be used. In New York City, only 167,949 of 489,325 doses have been administered, which means that 66% are currently unused, according to the report. In New York state, roughly 50% of vaccines have been used thus far.
According to The New York Times, the vaccination rollout, about 88,140 people had received the first of two doses, the equivalent of about 1 percent of the city’s population. Those vaccinated so far have overwhelmingly been hospital employees, residents and workers at nursing homes and the staff at certain health clinics.
The pace is worrying some experts. “I do feel concern,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University. Despite months to prepare, there still seemed to be a steep learning curve when it comes to “the nitty-gritty of how do you get it from the freezer to the arm as quickly as possible,” she said. “I think there are growing pains as people are picking up how to do this.”
The first phase should have been the simplest, she added. “We’ve started out with the easiest populations, an almost captive audience: nursing homes and hospital workers — you know who they are and where to find them.”
So what was the problem?
Aside from poor organizational skills starting at the state's highest office, doctors struggled with Cuomo's strict guidelines that prevented them from vaccinating high-risk patients because it 'was not their turn'. In addition to these issues, distribution was a mess. vials were sent to some locations in error and in some cases, clinics received a disproportionate number of vials.
Among the clinics were the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in Manhattan, where the chief medical officer, Dr. Peter Meacher, had expected to receive just a small supply of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine to inoculate employees at the network of clinics he oversees.
Instead, 600 doses arrived late last month, far more than he needed to administer a first dose to his staff.
For two weeks, more than half of the supply sat in freezers. At another clinic in the city, small numbers of unused doses were even thrown out.
They were warned well in advance that this would happen but Cuomo refused to broaden the criteria a patient must meet in order to get the vaccine.
Governors are being WAY too precious about who gets this vaccine and we’re going to end up with millions of doses of expired vaccines if states don’t get serious about getting this out the door. These numbers are dangerously bad https://t.co/9VBv9nSEkr pic.twitter.com/RciNui1kSn
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) December 30, 2020
Dr. Meacher said that he would like to give the extra vaccine to high-risk patients, but that he had not for fear of violating the state rules about who could receive it. Callen-Lorde Community Health Center’s handful of clinics serve some 18,000 L.G.B.T.Q. New Yorkers.
“It’s stressful and frustrating to have (a) vaccine and to be unable to start giving it to our patients as quickly as we would like,” Dr. Meacher said.
In some cases, healthcare workers refused to take the vaccine with at least one location throwing away several hundred vials in protest. However, rather than allow older more at-risk residents to receive the vaccine alongside members of the medical field, Cuomo demanded that all medical workers be vaccinated first before rolling out the vaccine to anyone else.
As a country, we have only 40 million doses and had aimed, according to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, to vaccinate 20 million by year-end. That’s bad enough. But we have administered only 2 million of those — barely 10 percent of the goal. At this rate, achieving sufficient vaccination to reach herd immunity and bring the pandemic to a close in the U.S. will take about seven years. In Israel, they are vaccinating about one percent of the population each day, meaning the full program of population-wide vaccination will be done by this March, according to NTMag.
Only now are their reports of Cuomo considering expanding vaccine criteria. Of course, the wasted expensive vaccine isn't HIS fault Just days ago, Mr. Cuomo had singled out several hospitals, including Montefiore New Rochelle, for taking too long to administer its doses.