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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

COVID-19 vaccine distribution off to shaky start

By Vanessa Wang | Staff Writer

Photo from ABC News

   The COVID-19 vaccines, which were released to the public in late 2020, are necessary for helping the global pandemic come to an end. However, the distribution of these vaccines needs to be more organized, and currently, it is far too difficult for those eligible to access to even receive them.

   With the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly across the globe and taking countless lives, the need for a solution has never been greater. There have been two vaccines approved by the FDA to fight against the disease, one developed by Moderna and the other by Pfizer-BioNTech. 

   Many people are more than ready to get vaccinated, but, unfortunately, the process is not as easy as it should be.

   For many, it is nearly impossible to book an appointment.

   “One of the biggest issues we’re experiencing now is that the people that we are striving to get vaccinated are not necessarily those who would be [technologically savvy],” the UCLA associate professor of epidemiology Shira Shafir told Dot LA.

   People over the age of 65 make up a large portion of those eligible to take the vaccine, and for most of them, using a website to schedule appointments is not easy. It can be foreign and confusing, especially when the websites are experiencing problems of their own. 

   “Local COVID vaccine information websites and phone lines remain down or crash multiple times daily,” Gail Trauco, frontline nurse, told Healthline.

   Many websites experienced glitches that would cancel appointments, show available times that were already taken, or allow ineligible people to register. 

   Not only is it hard enough to schedule appointments while dealing with technical issues, but on the websites that do work, people can barely make it fast enough to book a time for their vaccinations.

   According to Dot LA, “It took just 10 minutes for thousands of reservations to get snapped up on L.A. city’s appointment site run by Carbon Health.”

   With so many people desperate to get the vaccine as soon as possible, the race to schedule appointments becomes increasingly tight. It can be weeks until a person is finally able to snatch an available spot, and maybe not even then.

   To add onto all the existing problems, the demand for vaccines far outweigh the available supplies. 

   “Local health officials complain they’ve received only a fraction of the doses they’ve requested from the federal government.,” the Los Angeles Times wrote. 

   Long lines and wait times have become an increasingly frustrating issue for those wanting to be vaccinated and, in certain areas, the distribution of vaccines has been uneven and confusing, with fewer than 12.3 million doses administered as of Jan. 15.

   The solution to most of the problems would be to make the vaccines easier to access by establishing more vaccination clinics in each area, which would create more available time slots.

   There can also be more people working the phone lines to take calls, schedule times, and answer messages. The websites should be as straightforward as possible and be equipped to handle large amounts of users. 

   All in all, there are too many struggles that need to be overcome in order to reach the COVID-19 vaccines. If the pandemic is to ever come to an end, the system must be more organized and better suited to handle the issues that have come up.

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COVID-19 vaccine distribution off to shaky start