Coronavirus

The Government Has Botched the Vaccine Rollout at Every Step

Burdensome regulations have likely cost lives.

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The vaccine rollout crawls forward. Most of us will spend weeks, or months, waiting.

Great Britain did better. As of today, one-third of the English are already vaccinated, twice as many as in America.

Why?

A big reason is that our government decided to rigidly follow its regimen for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: two doses, about a month apart.

But why insist on two doses?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 90 percent effective after one dose, according to clinical trial data.

British officials sensibly decided to give people one dose, before insisting that everyone get a second dose. It worked. Once people got a first dose, the coronavirus cases began to level off. Although COVID-19 was worse in Great Britain than in America, British cases have now dropped below America's.

George Mason University economist Alex Tabarrok helped convince British health officials to try the "first-dose-first" approach. But he couldn't convince American officials.

"We have given out more than 20 million second doses," Tabarrok complains in my new video. "Those could have been first doses!"

Had they been, 50 percent more Americans would have received a vaccine by now.

"Why would we believe you, rather than these specialist doctors?" I ask.

"Physicians [are] not necessarily thinking about the person who is not their patient," he replies, "An economist, you've gotta be thinking about everybody."

It's not too late for America to change policy.

But our government's planners won't change without "a proper study."

In the time the study will take, says Anthony Fauci, "we will already be in the arena of having enough vaccines to go around anyway."

Tabarrok, wisely, says in a national emergency, we should skip that study and give one dose a real-world test. "You have to act quickly. Bureaucrats are just not used to doing that."

On TV, Fauci once said: "You can do both! You can get as many people in their first dose at the same time as adhering within reason to the timetable of the second dose."

But we can't do both. There are tradeoffs in life.

"We have to take into account scarcity," says Tabarrok. "This is what economists are good at: thinking about scarcity and thinking about tradeoffs."

America's bureaucratic medical approval process is all about following certain rules.

"They've been too slow. They've made mistakes," complains Tabarrok. "The FDA did not allow private companies to start testing."

That meant that for weeks, labs sat idle.

The bureaucracy also slowed the distribution of vaccines.

"We had the doses stockpiled… ready to go. The state governments weren't ready. They didn't have websites ready," Tabarrok points out. "Even though they'd been told months and months, this is coming, vaccines are coming… get ready. And they said, Oh, we don't have enough money. Give me a break. They have tons of money."

"They acted more quickly than they usually do," I point out.

"Not fast enough," replies Tabarrok.

Fortunately, people outside government stepped up.

Olivia Adams, a software engineer in Massachusetts, got frustrated with her state's vaccine website and built a site that makes it easier to find COVID-19 vaccine appointments. So did Huge Ma, an engineer in New York.

"It's been amazing to see how much expertise there is in the world, outside the usual expert channels," says Tabarrok. "The government has just been behind the virus every single step of the way."

Fortunately, big greedy corporations were on the ball.

"Thank God for the manufacturers of vaccines for Moderna and Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson that have been the one saving grace in this crisis. Capitalism has brought us the vaccines at a faster pace than ever before. And most of that was due to lifting government regulations."

He's right. At the beginning of the pandemic, the FDA lifted regulations, which allowed companies to create vaccines more quickly. Without that freedom, vaccine approval would have taken years.

When the pandemic ends, politicians will take credit, but the solution, as usual, began when politicians got out of the way.

COPYRIGHT 2021 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
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  1. “Physicians [are] not necessarily thinking about the person who is not their patient,”

    And they shouldn’t be.

    1. Yes they should. When they are giving advice about public health policy they should be thinking about the public as a whole.

      1. 1. When I’m being treated by a doctor, I’m the guy he should be thinking about, period.

        2. WITHIN THE CONTEXT USED IN THIS ARTICLE, see #1.

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  2. So did Huge Ma, an engineer in New York.

    Ma’s so huge, she built her own vaccine website!

    1. Your Ma is so Huge she needed four doses!

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  3. “The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are about 90 percent effective after one dose, according to clinical trial data.”

    Surely you’re not suggesting that huge politically connected pharmaceutical companies give up half their take? That’s heresy!

    1. I am suggesting that. And don’t call me Shirley.

  4. Totalitarianism caused the problem I doubt more totalitarianism is the solution.

    1. They didn’t totalitarian hard enougj

      1. If they only had the right totalitarians in charge.

  5. So unusual, the government tends to be the model of efficiency every business tries to attain! (sarc)
    And all the fools want to give the government more control over their lives.

    1. They really didn’t. A lot of those Biden votes weren’t real.

      1. The ones cast by women against nationalsocialist coercion were real enough to determine the election outcome. Georgia gave George Wallace 12 electoral votes in 1968, so no surprise the Klaverns backed Marjorie Greene Teeth.

      2. Great screen name!

  6. Cool to see Tabarrok willing to talk to Stossel, though I’m not 100% sure he’s right about first doses first. I wish he would speak to Israel situation. He’s been a little conspicuously quiet about it on MM.

  7. The People’s Republic of NJ is the poster child of botched roll out. Hell, the People’s Republic of NJ is the poster child for utter incompetence and mismanagement of the entire pandemic.

    We knew the vaccine was coming…..for months. What do you think our bonehead governor and the harpy we have for a health commissioner did to prepare? Answer: Very little.

    You want an example of the level of stupidity here? It took Phailing Phil Murphy, the phuckup governor we have, nearly 4 months to figure out that the elderly in NJ might not have internet access or be too swift with navigating a web-based (and buggy, with shitty code) vaccine scheduling system….and establish a call center for the elderly to call into. Talk about incompetent.

    In a just world, the NJ TPK would be illuminated by burning effigies of Phailing Phil and the Harpy health commissioner.

    1. NJ has the highest death rate “with” covid of any state. The number don’t lie. Right behind it are NY, RI and MA. And yet GA (20th), TX (24th) and FL (27th) are the ones that are doing it all wrong.

      There were a lot of theories flying around about how to handle this virus that weren’t supported by data or common sense. In the end, the numbers don’t lie about how accurate those theories were. Politicians and the media will certainly lie, but the numbers won’t.

    2. Phil’s too busy trying to destroy a gym that opened in defiance of his edicts to waste time on such frivolities.

      Fuck Phil Murphy.

      1. Let’s hope he ends up being prosecuted along with Cuomo, Whitmer, Newsom, and Inslee for the tens of thousands of nursing home residents they murdered.

        1. I thought Trump killed everyone who died with COVID?

    3. ” It took Phailing Phil Murphy, the phuckup governor we have, nearly 4 months to figure out that the elderly in NJ might not have internet access or be too swift with navigating a web-based (and buggy, with shitty code) vaccine scheduling system”

      It’s not just old people, as Joe Biden pointed out Black and Brown people are too stupid to use the internet too.

      1. Come on man! Biden said that poor kids are just as smart as white kids.

  8. Given the population differences between the US and UK comparing their vaccination in fractions of the population is misleading. In total numbers the US has ‘fully’ vaccinated more people than the UK has vaccinated to any degree.

    Sure, the US could have vaccinated many more people if they’d have gone with a single dose model but there’s no need to try framing the disparity is such a disingenuous way.

    1. The UK stole their doses from the EU too. Claiming that just because they signed contracts and approved the vaccines first entitled them to get the vaccines before the ones who let them be guinea pigs is sharp practice.

      “I wasn’t going to settle for a contract that allowed the Oxford vaccine to be delivered to others around the world before us,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told UK radio station LBC earlier this month.”

  9. “This is what economists are good at: thinking about scarcity and thinking about tradeoffs.”

    I would say most people, at least in their private lives, intuitively understand trade-offs and economics. It’s when you start talking about society at large that they somehow forget or ignore everything they understand about their own situations. “Sure, we can spend tons of money on Problem X!” “Do you personally spend tons of money on Problem X?” “Well, no, because I can’t afford it.” “How the fuck do you think that if we individually can’t afford it that somehow collectively we can afford it?”

    1. Because for most people the terms society and we are synonymous with government. The notion that individuals can act collectively without government intervention is probably an entirely groundbreaking notion to these people.

    2. It’s because they think the rich will be made to pay for it. The rich have enough money to pay for anything, if only the rest of us can make them do it.

  10. The Government Has Botched the Vaccine RolloutResponse at Every Step

    FTFY

    Don’t forget the blocked Chinese N95 masks. The ventilator fiasco. The hospital ships that never got used. The way the FDA jacked around the makers of the tests, such that we still don’t have off-the-shelf access to the $5 antigen tests that are sitting in the state warehouses.

    1. Rapid antigen tests are the way to go. Can test multiple times very quickly to weed out type 1 and type 2 errors. But nope, gotta PCR test so they can monkey with the results by adjusting Ct to suit.

  11. “At the beginning of the pandemic, the FDA lifted regulations, which allowed companies to create vaccines more quickly. Without that freedom, vaccine approval would have taken years.”

    So, Orange Man …. Good?

  12. I live in Fairfax County, Va. and the health department here opted out of the Virginia program for vaccinations. They had sign-up and scheduling websites up and running when they got the first doses of vaccine, and they actually worked – were simple to use, didn’t crash, and provided all the information you needed. My family’s first vaccinations took about 10 minutes from walking in the door (no lines) to getting the jab. We’re already scheduled for the second dose.

    Some people have done it right.

  13. As of today, one-third of the English are already vaccinated, twice as many as in America.

    1/3 the US population is about 120 million, or twice the total population of the UK.

    “We have given out more than 20 million second doses,” Tabarrok complains in my new video. “Those could have been first doses!”

    Had they been, 50 percent more Americans would have received a vaccine by now.

    So 40 million Americans have gotten at least 1 dose. That is 2/3 the UK population, which is also more dilute. Lets try to keep with apples to apples comparisons. Gov messes up all the time, lets stick with honest critisims.

  14. Although COVID-19 was worse in Great Britain than in America

    But Britain had more stringent lock downs and mask requirements than the US, so how could COVID have been worse there?

    1. It’s almost like the Communist Chinese Virus KNEW the GB has national health care – – – –

  15. Capitalism has brought us the vaccines at a faster pace than ever before.

    Actually, both Russia and China beat us to it using an already proven approach of adenovirus based virus vaccines that do not require any additional developement as thier safety had already been demonstrated. The new wiz bang mRNA vaccines were the ‘free market’ soaking up .gov money to cover their R&D expenses.

  16. An excellent point if examined in isolation.
    But taking one step back, vaccines were kept illegal for many months, causing much greater loss of life than one-dosing.
    And taking two steps back, vaccines were only made important by botching several faster, safe, highly-effective approaches:
    – Failing to separate those at greatest risk of dying from SARS-CoV-2.
    – Keeping fast tests for infectiousness illegal for many months, and then keeping the first approved fast test illegal for home use and taking out of customers’ hands the first 3 months of production.
    – Failing to use existing knowledge of antivirals and immunity boosting.
    https://rconstitution.us/the-use-of-knowledge-in-pandemics/

  17. Where does the estimate of 80-90% efficacy for 1 dose come from?

  18. The government has not done much that is different than what would have been done anyway. The one-dose two-dose stuff is a red-herring green-herring.

    The FACT is that the vaccine has been rolled out at 2-3x the rate for white as for black/Hispanic – where the covid fatality rate for black/Hispanic is 2-3x the rate for white.

    That would have been the roughly the same outcome (except for the age stuff) had it been distributed purely by price. A price hurdle would have tilted things towards higher income/wealth (and ethnically whiter) – money spent on marketing would have tilted it away from those who already have medical access.

    And it is a guarantee that those with money would have gotten their two doses and FYTabarrokTW. So all this bullshit about one-dose two-dose is just assuming the conclusion – that there is some central purchaser of the vaccine who decides how it gets distributed because THEY are the customer and FYTabarrokTW

    1. Oh – and the data re race/ethnicity is about geographic/class disparity. A reasonable proxy for that since the US is still de facto a segregated society. It’s not directly about DeRp identity politics.

      So whether it is Alabama or Michigan or New Hampshire or California – that disparity is the same in pretty much every state.

  19. The problem with wasting vaccines on already immune people is much worse than the 50% (for 2nd doses) highlighted by Stossel, as about 61% of the 93.69 million covid vaccines were given to already immune Americans (due to past infection and/or a 1st vaccine dose), and that percentage will continue to grow.

    Since 9.0% of Americans have tested positive for covid, and since CDC estimates 4.6 times more Americans have been infected (than have tested positive), an estimated 41.4% of Americans already have been infected (.09007 x 4.6 = .414).

    Since there are just 11 known cases of covid reinfection in America (and 64 worldwide), it appears >99.9999% of previously infected Americans remain immune. Thus, previous covid infections have conferred immunity to an estimated 41.4% of Americans.

    Since 18.4% of Americans have received a 1st covid vaccine dose, since 41.4% of Americans were already immune (due to past infection), and since the 1st vaccine dose appears 90% effective, 1st doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to about 9.7% of Americans (.184 x .586 x .9 = .097).

    This also means 47.3% of 1st vaccine doses were given to (i.e. wasted on) already immune Americans (.087 / .184 = .473).

    Finally, since 9.6% of Americans have received a 2nd covid vaccine dose, since 41.4% of them were already immune (due to past infection), and since 2nd vaccine doses likely confer immunity to the estimated 10% of 2nd dose recipients (who didn’t become immune from the 1st dose), 2nd doses of vaccine have conferred immunity to 0.6% of Americans (.096 x .586 x .1 = .0056)

    This also means 94.6% of 2nd vaccine doses were given to (i.e. wasted on) already immune Americans (.0904 / .096 = .9416).

    The calculations to estimate covid immunity rates are below, and were summed to estimate the overall covid immunity rate.
    (.090 x 4.6 = .414) Natural Immunity due to Infection
    (.184 x .586 x .9 = .097) Immunity conferred by 1st vaccine dose (.096 x .586 x .1 = .006) Immunity conferred by 2nd vaccine dose
    (41.4% + 9.7% + 0.6% = 51.7%) Total Immunity from Covid

    In sum, while past infections have conferred immunity to about 41.4% of Americans, covid vaccines have conferred immunity to about 10.3% of Americans (9.7% + 0.6% = 10.3%).

    Thus, about 51.7% of Americans are now immune from covid (41.4%+ 10.3% = 51.7%).

    Of the 93.69 million vaccine doses administered to Americans so far, 65.7% were 1st doses, while 34.3% were 2nd doses.

    But since 43.7% of the 1st vaccine doses were given to (wasted on) already immune Americans, as were 94.6% of the 2nd vaccine doses, 61.1% (i.e. 57.3 million) of the 93.69 million vaccine doses were given to (wasted on) already immune Americans. (.437 x .657 x 93.69M = 26.9M) + (.946 x .343 x 93.69M = 30.4M) = 57.3M

    1. Please note that covid case and vaccine data cited in my posting above were as of yesterday (March 9, 2021).

      1. Joe Biden has usurped the White House, so expect any future plans to be totally idiotic.

      2. all of which is irrelevant even though you keep spamming the same thing.

        Because the 4.6x estimate by the CDC is a number that is made up by them – from a statistical model based on SEASONAL FLU.

        Shit – even if you are one of these ‘just the fucking flu’ folks – you can’t possibly believe that 2020 was ‘just another year like all the others with just the fucking flu’.

        If you look through the details of that model is just – a big pile of horse shit. And not worth even searching for a pony.

        1. It is just the fucking flu for people below 65 regardless of race or class or anything else, age is the primary discriminant.

          1. 2017/2018 ‘worst flu in a decade’ – roughly 10,000 estimated deaths among the under-65. Ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 per year.

            covid-19 – roughly 90,000 estimated deaths among the under-65

            9x more than the worst flu in a decade (and that is after some medical treatments like dexamethasone had serious efficacy in reducing mortality among the younger serious ill patients) is not just the fucking flu.

            Why are you people incapable of dealing with reality? Fucking psychotic and dishonest is what it is.

            1. No political party in the past 200 years of looter kleptocracy has ever admitted being wrong. Even after the surrender at Appomattox, the Northern Dems took over platform writing from the unreconstructed and chirped that the war was “now happily” behind us. So when God’s Own Prohibitionists whine “we wuz robbed” instead of admitting that “we fought the Grrrlz and the Grrrlz won,” they are lying in the looter tradition.

        2. Their estimate is supported by the antibody studies that have been conducted over the past year. And what model would you recommend they use? When you plugged the numbers into your model, what did you estimate to be the total number of infections?

          1. Fauci’s gone from merely incompetent to downright dangerous.

            1. Meant to be a reply to my comment below.

          2. They model the seasonal flu because they dont actually do antibody tests for that. They can’t do antibody tests for that because it would mean mixing up dozens of different flu strains with antibodies that are present from different seasons.

            None of that was a constraint with a NOVEL virus that will become pandemic. There is no reason to use a model to cover the absence of actual public health activity when public health activity is what is now expected and being funded.

            They did actual antibody test work. In Apr when the antibody tests were crap and everyone knew it and that was ok because the purpose of the tests was to measure how crappy (specifically specificity and sensitivity) they were then so a baseline for those tests could be approved and rolled out. And Aug or so when the tests were presumably better and the purpose would be to establish actual baseline data for exposure/’immunity’. To use that to show the pandemic progress – via actual test result samples – that Bill Godshall is trying to get at.

            but nothing has been done since August – which is why something has to be modeled instead. I can speculate as to why nothing has been done but that would be pointless since the fact is that nothing has been done so speculation is in the same realm of useless as modeling.

            Regardless it is a near certainty that the two periods where there is data would greatly overstate an estimate of actual v tested exposure. Not because that’s real but because that’s the errors of antibody testing at those points. The April alone data indicated about 10x. A number that was bogus from the start – and everyone knew it – but that was repeated often enough so that it became ‘real’ by those who wanted to pretend we had already reached herd immunity in April and ‘this is just the fucking flu’. The 4.6 is no less bogus but is still being repeated.

        3. JFree wrote
          “Because the 4.6x estimate by the CDC is a number that is made up by them – from a statistical model based on SEASONAL FLU.”

          That is incorrect. It was based upon multiple studies of covid infections (using antibody tests) and other evidence during 2020, including studies in NY, CA, TX and other states.

          CDC’s estimate is at:
          https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/burden.html

          1. And if you drill down through the ‘how this is measured’ you end up on their ‘how do we measure seasonal flu burden’ page.

    2. Fauci and the CDC are totally responsible for these wasted vaccinations with their pig-headed refusal to admit that prior infection confers future immunity, and does so even more effectively, and for at least as long in duration, as any of the vaccine regimens. A substantial portion of the deaths we’ll see in the coming months are completely on them. This cannot be repeated enough.

  20. There’s a movement afoot in Texas to turn over power utilities to the Henry E. Butts grocery chain for lack of a competent alternative. The Prohibitionist lobby of 1906 and 1914 saddled These States with religious fanatics making laws to de-platform, jail & coerce physicians, then bartenders and convenience stores till the economy collapsed and CPUSA membership rose 800%. Why not let us buy vaccines and O2 bottles on Amazon?

  21. What about variants? Is there enough data to know how single doses interact with the rising variants? Is a single dose more likely to result in variants that evade the vaccines?

    Who did Stossel interview that might have had a counterpoint to what Taborrok has to say?

  22. “It’s been amazing to see how much expertise there is in the world, outside the usual expert channels,” says Tabarrok.

    That’s heresy! Only government has expertise. He should be banned from Twitter.

  23. If the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine can be guaranteed, then I hope that the government can implement policies for vaccination, so that it can effectively prevent the spread of COVID-19. I believe that it will not take long for COVID-19 to be eliminated. I can wear my beloved Herve Leger Dresses to the party

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