We all remember when COVID-19 became the center of every conversation. Soon the talk turned to can we come up with a vaccine? How long will it take to find one that works? Guesses by medical professionals were anywhere from 12 to 18 months with the majority leaning towards the longer number. Had that been the case we still would be without a vaccine that works and looking at another six months for one to be on the scene. Think August or September 2021. The fact that we have multiple vaccines that work in such a short time is as close to a medical miracle as you will ever see. Now that we have the vaccine the rush to get vaccinated has began in earnest.
A few thoughts on this situation:
• We have seen the Federal government place orders for well over 350 million doses. What must be kept in mind is that though ordered these doses were not sitting on a shelf in a warehouse.
• There is a shortage of qualified employees in the manufacturing process which has been a substantial reason that though production is up and running it has proved challenging to ramp it up quickly to match demand.
This lack of experienced workforce has impacted the number of doses being manufactured and is why it is lagging behind the public’s expectation. We must remember the plan is to be certain there is sufficient
supply ensuring the all important, time sensitive second dose will be available to complete the inoculation process. The importance of having the second dose available on-time cannot be underestimated.
• The Federal government handles the logistics for making certain those in assisted living and long term care receive the vaccine.
• There have been missteps in the delivery process in Southwest Florida. The elderly were met with camping out overnight and massive lines forcing waits of 9+ hours due to lack of planning in some locations. Phone lines crashed with call overload and computer systems failed before registrations could be completed.
• Notes have been taken and lessons learned from the early failures. Good strides are being made and the delivery method is improving quickly. Plans are in place for more locations to be approved for vaccinating the public.
• There is a long road to trek remaining. However, we now have a path out of the pandemic and the light of a return to normalcy is shining a bit brighter.