The Volokh Conspiracy

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"Why West Virginia and South Dakota Are Beating California at the Vaccine Race"


The San Jose Mercury News (Lisa M. Krieger) has the story, and Bloomberg has the detailed data:

Through the icy hollows of West Virginia, members of the Army National Guard are driving precious doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the state's independent pharmacies. So far six of every 100 residents have received the vaccine, making this poor and rural state the nation's leader at getting shots in arms.

Halfway across the country, South Dakota has taken a very different yet equally effective approach: Divvying up its 66 vast and windswept counties among its major healthcare plans, it tasked each plan with vaccinating every resident in its assigned counties, using well-established courier services.

In contrast, the tech-savvy, populous and economic powerhouse of California has given only 2 doses per 100 residents, even though it has received roughly the same amount of vaccine, per capita, as those other states. The Golden State, with a larger, more fragmented and decentralized healthcare system, is relying on an ambitious but complex tiered priority system. Residents complain of poor messaging and confusion about who is eligible, saying they don't know when, how and where to go for vaccination….

Michigan appears not to have been distributing the vaccines on Christmas weekend (Fri.-Sun.) and New Year's weekend.