Today’s review of the news takes a closer look at the vaccination rollout across the United States. Efficiently administering the new coronavirus vaccine nationwide has proved challenging. Public officials and healthcare workers navigate the difficulties of supply-and-demand, distribution, and communication—some communities struggling to ensure equity in who receives vaccines first. Plus, schools and universities are playing a role in distribution efforts as campuses transform into critical community vaccination sites. The news roundup is curated from Freedom Forum.
Montgomery Advertiser, Published in Montgomery, Alabama
In about two weeks on February 8, Alabama plans to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to people 65 or older. However, due to limited vaccine doses, public officials advise that individuals with no health concerns wait to receive vaccinations. Communication has also been difficult. The state health officer explained, “There are going to be shortages. People are just not going to find it when they try to obtain it. That's really unfortunate. It makes people upset. It makes us upset, too."
News & Record, Published in Greensboro, North Carolina
In Greensboro, 10,400 coronavirus vaccination appointments had to be canceled because they were incorrectly delivered to another location. Now, Guilford County recently received over 7,000 doses and expects to administer more than 10,000 doses next week—an effort that is being credited to a campaign by the Guilford County Health Department. County officials originally thought they would only receive under 2,000 doses.
Columbus Telegram, Published in Columbus, Nebraska
While vaccines are starting to be administered among the public, public health officials in Nebraska are keeping tabs on the new, more contagious strains of the virus. Health departments say that testing infrastructure is currently not set up to detect the new strain. Samples of the strains are being circulated to help improve testing, but there is still concern. “We won’t know when that strain hits the state and we certainly won’t know when it hits the health district,” officials say. “Not until new testing is brought online.”
Independent Record, Published in Helena, Montana
As distribution ramps up, many local business, institutions, and community centers are turning into vaccination sites. That’s the case for Carroll College in Helena, Montana. The university campus will become a second vaccination site for the community, with plans to give vaccinations as early as February 11. The roads near the stadium will serve as the primary service area. “This is a tremendous educational opportunity for our students to be involved in such an important large-scale public health initiative,” said college president John Cech.
El Paso Times, Published in El Paso, Texas
Immunize El Paso, a non-profit healthcare resource for immunizations, is waiting for approval from the state to be a hub for vaccination distribution. The organization is partnering with the Socorro Independent School District, which will be a drive-through dispensary and second vaccine dose administration.
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