BOSTON (CBS) – COVID-19 vaccines have been rolling into states for 18 days now, but many healthcare professionals are complaining that the lack of a nationwide plan is preventing the vaccines from getting to those who need it most.
Some say the bumpy rollout of the vaccines is made worse because entirely new systems had to be put in place.
At the Armenian Nursing home in Brookline, they were expecting 80 vaccines by Monday, enough to treat their 50 patients and 30 staff members. But the life-saving vials never showed up.
“The frustrating thing for the team, for me and the patients…the prep and readiness for a vaccine, given that we have such a frail population,” says Scott Ariel of the Armenian Women’s Welfare Association.
So what is the holdup with the vaccines?
Both Pfizer and Moderna say the supply is there. But some experts say the bumpy road has been created by the federal government.
“We’ve known for months that we were going to be vaccinating people in December. We’ve known for months that this rollout was going to happen. And it really feels like the federal government has done very, very little to plan for it. They’ve put it all on states,” says Dr. Ashish Jha of the School of Public Health at Brown University. “The whole pandemic, the strategy of the Trump administration has been every state for themselves. Good luck.”
At Tufts Medical Center, they’ve vaccinated 3,000 of their own healthcare workers in just a few days. Officials there say it was a matter of creating a whole new system.
“The challenge now, now that we’re getting to the point where we’ll have vaccinated most of our staff who were patient facing is how do we stand up a process that needs to be tweaked a bit for first responders and essential workers,” says Dr. Saul Weingart of Tufts Medical Center.
Many healthcare professional do expect things over the next couple of weeks to be smoothened out as systems are put in place.