States Are Getting Better at Distributing the Covid Vaccine

Illustration for article titled States Are Getting Better at Distributing the Covid Vaccine
Photo: Chet Strange / AFP (Getty Images)

Some good covid news, for once: This graph on the New York Times website shows a direct relationship between time passed and the number of vaccine doses being administered in each state. Gazing upon it is a welcome respite from constantly refreshing the other, more notable graph the Times maintains, counting the number of new coronavirus cases every day (which, while steadily falling, is still quite high).


After a rocky start—to say the least—the efficiency of the vaccine rollout has improved in every state, according to the Times. Experts say that even if it feels like everything is still unmitigated chaos, things have actually changed for the better.

“Every state is improving,” Claire Hannan, the executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, a nonprofit organization that works with public health immunization programs, told the Times. “We still don’t have enough to vaccinate everyone over 75, so it doesn’t necessarily feel different for people who are trying to find the vaccine, but we are in a much better place now.”

As of last week, 68 percent of doses that had been delivered across the country had been administered, whereas on Jan. 1 just a quarter of them were. And some states have been able to use over 80 percent of the doses shipped to them.

The vaccination rate is also expected to improve following the Biden administration’s push to open five new mass vaccination centers, aimed specifically at getting communities of color their doses of the vaccine. The administration plans to ship one million doses of the vaccine to those centers on a weekly basis. Some states have also begun opening mass vaccination sites as part of statewide initiatives, like Alabama, which the Times reports was among the states to have administered the lowest amount of the vaccine.

Obviously the bar is very low; almost any change to the vaccine rollout system would be an improvement at this point. But it’s a relief to know that it’s possible to get out of this mess slightly faster if someone simply bothers to try.

Night blogger at Jezebel with writing at The Baffler, The Nation, The New Republic, Vice, and more.


Cheers Pink Ears!

I think at least one problem is communication from the vaccinators. At work we get all this good news about the number of cases and hospitalizations dropping, the number of vaccines distributed, and we spend a good chunk of our work day helping older folks get signed up for a vaccine and hooking them with a ride if they need it. But when I go home, the local news is all doom and gloom, and it's impossible to actually get an appointment!