9 votes

White House plans to redistribute unordered vaccine supply, telling states: Use it or lose it

3 comments

  1. [3]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Thought this was an interesting follow-up to yesterday's post showing that the US is not expected to reach herd immunity. I am glad we are not going to be sending millions of doses to states that...

    Thought this was an interesting follow-up to yesterday's post showing that the US is not expected to reach herd immunity.

    Each state’s share of the total U.S. adult population will still determine weekly allocations. But instead of allowing unordered doses to carry over week-to-week, the White House will steer untapped vaccine into a federal bank available to states where demand continues to outstrip supply. Those states will be able to order up to 50 percent above their weekly allocation.

    The use-it-or-lose-it strategy has the potential to transform how vaccine flows across the country. In recent weeks, numerous states have begun leaving significant quantities of doses on the shelves. Last week, officials in Arkansas declined their entire share, the state confirmed.

    I am glad we are not going to be sending millions of doses to states that have populations with no interest in getting their shots so that we can vaccinate more people, but I worry that this is only going to make the vaccination rate disparities in some states/regions worse. Parts of the deep South and midwest are already far behind other parts of the country.

    I just wish there was some way to incentivize these folks to get their shot. One thing I found very frustrating from the herd immunity article yesterday is that the experts seemed to agree that any sort of mandate to require vaccines would only increase the skepticism of this group in the vaccines.

    For the most part, it sounds like the only real way to reach this group would be a very straightforward positive message from Trump telling his supporters that vaccines are safe and they should get one. Obviously, that is very unlikely to actually happen given Trump just wants Biden to fail and doesn't are about anyone other than himself.

    6 votes
    1. skybrian
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Yes, it seems pretty clear that you can't get to vaccine equality when there are people who don't want the vaccine. Some of that is hesitancy and ignorance rather than outright opposition and can...

      Yes, it seems pretty clear that you can't get to vaccine equality when there are people who don't want the vaccine. Some of that is hesitancy and ignorance rather than outright opposition and can be countered with public education and creative ways of doing outreach, so we shouldn't simply give up on it.

      Incentives aren't hard to think up, but might be harder to implement in practice. How about paying people to get vaccinated? This would have the advantage of being more meaningful for poor people. (The difficulty would be guarding against people doing it more than once.)

      However, we also shouldn't be letting vaccines sit in warehouses while waiting for such programs to have results. Other people can get vaccinated in the meantime, and more vaccine is being made.

      As the vaccination rate slows down in the US we need to be doing more in other countries where it's more urgently needed and there's more potential to save lives.

      6 votes
    2. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I hope at some point we ship unused vaccines overseas. They don’t last forever and other countries are having a hard time getting doses.

      I hope at some point we ship unused vaccines overseas. They don’t last forever and other countries are having a hard time getting doses.

      4 votes