Glitches Sabotage Vaccine Rollout Across US; EU Plays ‘Hardball’ As Battle For Doses Heats Up

Glitches Sabotage Vaccine Rollout Across US; EU Plays ‘Hardball’ As Battle For Doses Heats Up

Across the US., a vaccination campaign that was meant to reverse the tide of the pandemic and spur the nation’s economic recovery is getting bogged down by technical glitches and software woes. Cash-strapped public health departments are trying to keep their websites from crashing while booking millions of appointments, tracking unpredictable inventory, and logging how many shots they give.

States are ignoring an IT system set up by the federal government at a cost of $44MM, and instead they’re working with a hodge-podge of local systems that are constantly malfunctioning, causing massive delays in vaccinations. In Mississippi, an online vaccine registration system failed during a sudden onslaught of traffic. Officials at a local health department in Georgia had to resort to counting every vaccine dose by hand before scheduling appointments.

And as if that weren’t enough, logistical issues from Pfizer, Moderna and McKesson have led to batches of doses being recalled for either being kept too cold, or too hot, while shipping.

Even in California, workers forgetting to click a “submit” button at the end of the day led to a major glitch in the undercounting of vaccines. Similar incidents unfurled in Idaho and North Dakota.

Furthermore, gaps in the data could be distorting the national picture of how efficiently vaccines are being used, though this will become more clear as the bugs in the system get worked out.

For the past few weeks, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been using his bully pulpit in Geneva, where he delivers his press briefings about the global COVID-19 crisis, to slam the West for its tremendous moral failing surrounding its failure to share vaccines with the developing world.

So far, the only two developed countries who have seen strong vaccination programs are the UK and Israel. In Israeli, the top Israeli fast-moving vaccination program, which has already reached a third of the population, is built on a bargain. The vaccine maker agreed to keep up the quick-time delivery of doses in the country in exchange for partial access to the vast database of information maintained by the country’s national health-care system.
 Already, researchers here and in other countries are getting their first look in Europe.

Douglas Dowell, a pro-Europe commentator, highlighted the EU’s claim that it was acting “to avert serious societal difficulties due to a lack of supply threatening to disturb the orderly implementation of vaccination campaigns in the member state.”

But others saw that the EU high command, which had spent years insisting there could be no hard border on the island of Ireland, was effectively threatening to reestablish the border with the stroke of a pen if Brussels didn’t manage to keep enough vaccines.

In short, the insatiable demand for vaccines is showing the world that for all the humanistic rhetoric emanating from the West, when the chips are down and the vaccine supplies are limited, the whole thing devolves into a knife fight.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 01/31/2021 – 17:25

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