General Omar Bradley is credited with saying, “Amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.” The rollout of the coronavirus vaccine highlights some wisdom in his statement. According to the CDC, only 54% of the vaccines that have been distributed nationwide have actually been administered into people’s arms. The sluggishness largely comes down to logistics.
In a recent column for USA Today, my colleague Dr. Chuck Dinerstein and I propose two policy changes that should speed up the process: (1) Turning large, unused spaces – such as school gymnasiums and cafeteria – into makeshift clinics for mass vaccination; and (2) Requiring all healthcare staff to receive the shot as a way to prevent labor shortages that are slowing down the vaccination campaign. Fining hospitals, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo discovered, doesn’t work to solve logistical problems.
There are also steps that should be relatively straightforward to accomplish, such as states deploying COVID-19 vaccine apps to help with coordination and countering disinformation.
On the website for the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH), we provide more detail and justification for our positions: