Everyone involved in the COVID-19 vaccination program seems to agree on two things: It isn’t working the way it should be working, and it’s someone else’s fault.
From manufacture to transportation to distribution to technology to communication, the system isn’t up to the standards of a nation that is weary and afraid and expects more from its local, state and federal governments during a crisis.
We hear the rage of Tulsans who find themselves wound up in a reservation system that doesn’t seem to offer reservations.
In a cruel irony, we’re asking our least technologically competent and most physically challenged population to deal with a bug-ridden computer system and then, if they’re lucky enough to get a vaccination slot, stand in the cold with others who may or may not be sick or and may or may not have reservations.
Local people are driving hours in search of sites where they can get their aging parents vaccinated. It feels like a cruel Easter egg hunt with no rules, no referee and only a handful of eggs.
And no one seems to know for sure if the second dose needed to assure full immunity will be available when the time rolls around.
As usual, the people most likely to be left out of the system are the poor and minorities.
It’s not sane, safe, consistent, equitable or effective.
In this case, we are ready to be an equal opportunity blamer. No one’s getting the job done right to our satisfaction. From the federal government down to the local level, the problems must be solved and the program put in order. The public health, the nation’s economy and our faith in our government to get important jobs done are at risk.
Does President Biden need to implement the Defense Production Act to solve supply, manufacture and transportation problems? Do it.
Does the state need to reallocated manpower from other services, maybe even mobilize the National Guard in force to provide the human force needed to provide a navigable reservation system and a well-organized vaccination process? Do it.
This is a hard job, and for many of the people trying to do it, it is made harder by the failures of others. We understand that, but we also hear the cry of the public.
What do we want? Vaccinations! When do we want them? Last week!