By Diana Diamond
The coronavirus vaccine: So we had the capability of sending a man to the moon . . .Uploaded: Mar 20, 2021
The incompetency in this country to produce and provide enough COVID-19 vaccines to Americans is most disturbing. As the age-old adage goes, if America can send men to the moon and a spacecraft to Mars with perfect landings, why can’t we get a little bit of vaccine into the arms of Americans without long delays, insufficient supplies, and a lack of the material needed to produce the sharps and vials necessary to use the vaccine?
This is not about me. I had my two shots.
But I have a 94-year old friend who still hasn’t gotten one. She’s been told to go up to the fairgrounds in San Mateo or down to the stadium in Santa Clara. She can’t get there and back via Uber. So she has tried daily for months to get an appointment in Palo Alto, but no luck – no vaccines available.
I have a relative, age 61, who qualifies for health reasons (a recent heart attack and diabetes) and he is still refused a shot. He tries to get an appointment but is kicked out of the sign-up system because he is not 65. There is no space on any form to indicate a health problem. . Wherever he tries – PAMF, Stanford, Safeway, CVS – all tell him that despite his health condition these clinics have not changed their regulations yet – or, more frequently, they have run out of vaccines. On Tuesday he called saying he has an appointment in Fresno on Saturday! On Wednesday that appointment was canceled. – lack of vaccines. By the way, his 21-year-old son, working in Tahoe selling ski lift tickets within a glass booth, got his vaccine three weeks ago because he was in a job that has interaction with the public.
We have a big shortage in the Bay Area (and other parts of the country), and no one seems able to do something about it .Gov. Gavin Newsom decided that 40 percent of state’s allotment should go to where poor people live, hence his zip code idea. But he should know that zip codes are not created to economically segregate people – i.e., by where the poor live. East Palo Alto’s zip code also covers adjacent richer areas, so EPA and East Menlo Park didn’t qualify for vaccine distribution to the poor. If I were governor and had come up with this idea, I would have first asked, “Well, if we define vaccine deliveries by zip code areas, does that cover all the pockets of poor people?” The answer is “no.” but the zip code allotments were applied. The result: most clinics in our area received 20 percent fewer vaccines this time around compared to the previous allotment. This is one of the reasons we have a shortage.
The politicians are trying to garner as much attention as each of them can get by announcing progress, as Biden did in December, when he said he has placed a big vaccine order and soon most of us will be able to be eligible for a vaccine. Eligible, yes, but the Big Pharma’s who are producing these vaccines quietly mention the odder will not be fully filled until June.
Next problem, as I see it, is that we were vaccinating those 75 and over and all of a sudden Newsom proudly and loudly announced 65-year-old and older can also be vaccinated. So, the number who needed vaccines dramatically increased. The state also said that those with certain health conditions are available of a vaccine, but their priority lowered so teachers could get a higher priority.
I know Dr. Fauci and others are trying very hard, and I am glad they are urging everyone to get a vaccine – even those macho males who won’t’ even wear a mask.
So where do we go from here? Biden is still declaring enough vaccines for all will be available by the end of May and by July 4 we will all be eating dogs and hamburgers together.
Don’t I wish – and hope. I am tired of fearing the coronavirus, I am tired of writing about it, and I want our country to solve it. Now. If we can send men to the moon….