American COVID-19 vaccination stuck at the last step: WSJ
A woman gets a COVID-19 vaccine in Harlingen, Texas, U.S. /AP

A woman gets a COVID-19 vaccine in Harlingen, Texas, U.S. /AP

"The biggest challenge in America's COVID-19 vaccination effort is getting shots into the arms of the right people," read an article published in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on Sunday, emphasizing that the vaccination process in the U.S. is stuck at the last step.

As of Friday morning, nearly 31 million vaccine doses had been distributed across the country, but only some 12 million had been injected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal government shipped these vaccines to states across the nation, and each state set its own standards, stipulating who should be vaccinated first. In which case, local health departments, hospitals and other suppliers are expected to actually manage the logistics chaos while many many of them have been unable to effectively deal with it.

The result is a chaotic and disconnected process that has caused frustration and confusion across the country, said the report.

Per report, Jeff Duchin, a public health officer in Seattle and King County, said the federal government successfully purchased the vaccines in record-breaking time, but nearly failed to ensure the "last-mile" distribution.

"Operation Warp Speed gave us two Cadillac vaccines with empty gas tanks," he said.

Duchin said although the county has established four clinics, it is difficult to connect medical staff who are not part of the hospital with the providers giving shots. If everyone needs a separate appointment, "we'll never get there," he said.

The report also cited Oscar Alleyne, a chief program officer for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, as saying that the vaccination process was in a mess as drug suppliers in the U.S. had received no guidance on how to implement eligibility standards, "no funding to manage staffing and planning" and "no indication of how many doses they will receive at any time."

"There is a lack of communication, a lack of understanding with the systems that have been developed, zero visibility into how the state plans are going to be implemented on the local front."

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