Unanswered questions, confusion as COVID vaccine rollout continues
NEW YORK - No doubt – there’s been widespread confusion over the coronavirus vaccine. When can I get it? Where can I get it? How can I get it?
"No one has taken responsibility, it’s really kick the can down the road. Federal government says the state, the state says the county, the county says the hospital, someone has got to take responsibility," said Dr. John Whyte with WebMD.
Dr. Whyte believes there should be a coordinated effort to distribute the vaccine across the country, but the funding and guidance from the federal government just aren’t there.
Dr. Rebecca Weintraub with Harvard Medical School shares a similar point of view.
"It is the state leaders and the city leaders in New York City and New York State that decide how to allocate those scarce resources of vaccine doses. Our state leaders have been beleaguered and underfunded and the chronic underfunding they face have made planning of this vaccine campaign quite difficult," said Dr. Weintraub.
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Dr. Weintraub is part of a group that designed a website called the Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19. It lets you search by county to see how many doses are allocated there and how many people are left to vaccinate.
"We also made it public so that citizens and the general population could understand and pace their expectations for the approach that their county and the state would take regarding vaccine allocation," said Dr. Weintraub.
In New York City, the Health Department created a vaccine command center with updated information about the vaccine rollout. In New Jersey, vaccination centers for those eligible have been set up in parts of the state, including Essex County. The website EssexCOVID.org keeps residents informed about how and when they can make appointments. Appointments, that for so many, can’t come soon enough.