You know several major cities are now saying that they have a shortage of the vaccine, including new york. Just yesterday, a friend of mine who’s, a teacher got notified that her appointment is cancelled due to lack of supply, but we know there are roughly 20 million unused doses in this country right now. So why is this happening? What needs to change? Yeah thanks diane, i mean yes, there is a real concern about shortages right now, so some hospitals are reporting that they can’t take new appointments and it’s, not really clear right now. What the issue is. Is it a city wide concern, or do they just need to redistribute supplies, but part of the issue is that we keep changing the recommendations. We’Re blending phase groups we’re including new age groups, pre existing conditions, and this is what happens when we start altering plans. We start to hit bottlenecks, and so people are now racing for appointments and they’re. Just not there remember. The state has about 300 000 doses a week and that’s supposed to go through april, but now we just added a lot more people that are eligible, so that’s going to create some problems. So, of course, we want to start releasing those doses, but we also have a last mile problem. How do we get the doses to the right places where there’s a need? The states got have to figure this out right, they’ve identified priority populations, but they also have to build out the networks of providers and really identify mass vaccination sites.
So we just can’t be in this situation where now supply chain is an issue to meet all this demand, and president elect biden has unveiled a 400 billion dollar plan to try to fight covet. He also just elected former fda head david kessler, as chief science officer for covid response. What are your thoughts on kessler and what should his top priority be? Well, kessler is a great choice. He has a long standing amount of experience in the space and i think he can bring that knowledge to thinking about this 100 million doses in 100 days. It’S a massive operational challenge, right, it’s, a lofty goal. I think if we can get there, that is half the population needed to get to herd immunity. But you know right now: we’re still light on specifics: there’s 20 million 20 billion dollars towards the national vaccination campaign, that’s, putting real money to work to help the states roll out the vaccine. Clearly, that’s going to be about funding infrastructure, improving vaccination sites, community vaccination, centers field centers that are going to allow for mass vaccination. I really hope that funding is going to go to communication. We know that it’s all about shots in the arm and people’s willingness to get the vaccine. So, of course the other side of it is the challenges we just discussed. The challenges of people, booking appointments and identifying eligibility can kessler come in and help think about building infrastructure, so people will know when it’s their time in line and begin to think about how to efficiently roll out this vaccine.
The other aspect of the funding is 100. 000, new public health workers that are going to come in to help support the states that’s huge. These states are so spread thin right now in the response to the pandemic. So more resources is going to be, do such good for them, and we heard matt gutman say that some people are traveling to florida, where anyone 65 and older is eligible to get a dose, and he referred to this as vaccine tourism. What do you make of that and what’s your advice for leaders in this area? Yeah it’s a real concern right but it’s to be expected. We have 50 states, so 50 different rollout plans, and so people are desperate for the vaccine. If i live in a vaccine desert because there’s just no access i’m going to go to where the supply is i’m, just worried about mobility, you – and i have spoken about this – a lot more people that move around this country, the more that this flares up this Pandemic right, so we don’t want these vaccination sites to be super spreading sites, and so again the better fix is to help create better access in all parts of this country improve reduce disparities. I do think we’re going to see more consistency as more types of places. Open up to deliver the vaccine national pharmacy chains as an example, so i hope that this tourism concept is going to start slightly a slowly slip away as we get to sort of more efficient vaccine rollout all right, hopefully you’re right, dr john brownstein.
Thank you hi.