ORLANDO, Fla. — Public health experts say the United States is lagging behind other countries in its COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
Tinglong Dai- an associate professor at the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University, and an expert in health care analytics- has closely followed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the United States.
He says other countries are doing a better job of making the shots accessible to the public.
“Americans are working too hard to get a vaccine,” Dai says. “Look at people in the UK and Israel...you basically don’t have to do anything to get a vaccine.”
UK residents receive a letter telling them when they’re eligible for a vaccine and where to go to get it. Then, they simply book an appointment online.
That’s not to say they’ve gone without any issues. In some cases, overloaded sites made it difficult for people to get registered.
Reports from Israel also indicate that groups eligible for the vaccine under their established guidelines were notified when they could register.
Dai says people in other countries generally seem to know more about when their turn will come up, and trust that the vaccine will be there when it does.
“The reason people are working so hard in this country to get a vaccine is because we do not really trust our authorities,” Dai Says.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis has been criticized for a lack of transparency, and Dai says some seniors are worried that if they don’t get a dose of the vaccine now, they won’t get one at all.
Dai says states need to make sure that seniors feel less like a number and more like someone who is vulnerable, which will only be achieved through clear communication.
“If we do something that will give confidence that they will get the vaccine...If we can provide some kind of guarantee, like a contract, the situation will vastly improve.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has allocated $245-million to help the state with the vaccination effort.
However, Governor DeSantis has stated repeatedly that he doesn’t need FEMA vaccination sites set up, he just needs more doses of the vaccine available.
Cox Media Group