As I understand it, each state orders and distributes its own supply of Covid-19 vaccine, and the US government may or may not be able to supply all that a state requests. Additionally, there are currently two different vaccines available, and they have different storage requirements.
That, folks, is a perfect recipe for chaos and confusion. Is it any wonder that fewer than 2 million people had been vaccinated by the end of 2020, instead of the 20 million Trump promised? (A government spokesman said recently that it wasn’t a promise to vaccinate 20 million people; it was a promise to distribute 20 million doses, and that promise was kept. Yeah. Right.)
I don’t know what other states are doing; it’s all I can do to keep up with what Colorado is doing. The chart above was issued December 30 and reflects a change the governor ordered unexpectedly last week: He moved those age 70 and older from Group 2 up to Group 1B and declared Group 1B now open for vaccination.
That confusion was suddenly inflicted on providers (whoever and wherever they are) who were still trying to finish with everyone in Group 1A. Suddenly and unexpectedly the governor announced that Group 1B is open and that it now includes almost 400,000 more people than it did a week ago. (Any more of this and priorities will be out the window. Everyone will be in the same big group.) Imagine the phone calls that have suddenly deluged the providers, the health department, the hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. Quick now, everybody. Which group are you in? When will you get your vaccination (you do want one, don’t you?)? Where do you get it? Do you need to make an appointment and if so, how? Or do you just show up? Or will someone notify you?
I’ve known for some time that at age 77, I was in Group 2. Until suddenly I wasn’t. I really can’t complain about being moved up in line, considering an earlier plan once had me in line behind incarcerated individuals and students living in dorms. I could see the logic in that, sort of, but emotionally it rankled. I’ve been quite literally sitting at home since March, convinced that if I get Covid, I’ll likely become one of those dying alone in an ICU with family unable to visit, family I’ve already been separated from for 10 months.
But in the middle of all that confusion, the sun came out. I got a notification from UCHealth (University of Colorado, where I’m still a patient) that although they were still vaccinating Group 1A, they had some extra doses that would be distributed to a small group of patients via lottery. And damned if I didn’t get an email Sunday saying I should contact them and make an appointment (two, actually) to get my vaccination! I was singing out loud to my dog as I headed down the hall for my shower. (I was going to say skipped down the hall, but these days I only do that in my head.)
So next Saturday I head up to Longmont (the closest option) for my shot. And again 4 weeks later (for the Moderna vaccine, apparently).
I think I’ll pick up a big box of donuts for the providers on my way up.