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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Slow Pace of COVID Vaccine Rollout Concerning Health Professionals


Despite Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in mid and late December, only approximately 18 million doses had been distributed by January 7th but only five million were injected. The Administration delegated all responsibility for the critical “last mile” to states without either an overall plan or funding. There has been no uniformity in following CDC guidelines for priority groups and obvious problems have arisen relating to scheduling, availability of vaccines and establishing locations where large numbers of recipients can receive their doses.


It is noted that the initial two weeks of vaccination involved front line healthcare professionals, hospital staff and medical first-responders. It would be expected that these groups would be the easiest to access but some eligible recipients have yet to receive their first dose while others are now due for their booster vaccines.


It remains to be seen whether the retail outlets including free-standing pharmacies and locations in supermarkets will able to collectively maintain a rate of administration of one million doses per day on a national basis even if vaccine delivery is coordinated.


Noting the unacceptable delays for administration in Florida where the elderly were obliged to camp out overnight to compete on a first-come-first serve basis, Governors in northeastern densely-populated states are arranging for vaccination in public buildings including convention centers, arenas and libraries. The poultry industry will have to arrange for in-plant administration by coordinating with state and county health authorities. Accordingly appropriate planning should commence as soon as possible.


It is axiomatic that without suppression of COVID-19 there will not be a restoration of the economy and a return to life as we knew it.  Rapid deployment of the two scheduled vaccine doses will be critical to attaining a level of immunity that reduces the rate of spread, especially with the emergence of more infectious variants.  The availability and administration of vaccines, off to a slow start, will accelerate with ingenuity and flexibility.


Unfortunately vaccines will not be a panacea freeing us from the risks and consequences of COVID-19.  Reducing spread by masking, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel and crowds will be critical through mid-summer when we anticipate that at least 75 percent of our population will be immune through either vaccination or less likely exposure.

Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane