The efforts to vaccinate the whole U.S have come to the next level recently. The States are increasing the number of appointments and waiting for further bulky supplies of more vaccine doses. When these efforts resulted in a massive vaccination campaign in the country, there are still many hurdles to overcome before immunizing America as a whole.
U.S’s Challenges To Vaccinate Rural Population Remain Unresolved
Presently, the U.S has reached the milestone of administering 1.5 million vaccines per day.
An expert of infectious diseases, Dr. Javeed Siddiqui said that a coordinated effort is required to effectively implement the distribution of vaccine shots to the United States population. Coordination among production, transportation, storage, and delivery sites is required in this.
He added that it is vital to maintain and assure the cold chain with the currently available doses of the vaccine.
However, a lot of obstacles to vaccinate the rural areas of the country are still unresolved as well. When the clinics in the urban parts of the country are all set to vaccinate millions of the surrounded residents, the sparsely populated rural areas of the country are yet to be well equipped with all these.
Despite the increased supply of doses, it is still a challenge to immunize the inhabitants of the rustic areas.
The major issues in providing vaccine doses to the exurban part of the U.S lie in the lack of cold storing facilities and limited supplies. Apart from not enough suites to administer the doses.
Besides all these, many residents of the suburbs and rural areas need to be edified about the importance of getting vaccinated in the existing situation. Health workers have been struggling since many of them refuse to get immunized. Most of those in the rural areas who are ready to receive the shots also need to travel long distances to reach a distribution point.
A health expert, Jeff James from North Carolina said that though the local health department has received vaccine vials, they are currently waiting for an allocation from the state. He added that one of the major challenges they face in accessing and entering data related to administered vaccines into the statewide COVID-19 Vaccine Management System.
He further said that the cloud-based and secure management system of CVMS allows state officials to detect areas that need more vaccine doses.
In the state, many of the counties have reported that they feel it difficult to use the new system.
James indicates that hesitancy and misconceptions on the efficacy of vaccines are the secondary challenges to give the shots into exurban arms.
Other than North Carolina, the rural parts which face the same issue include Ohio and the Navajo Nation.
The medical director of Ohio’s Trusted Senior Care Advantage, Dr. Patrick Goggin said that the health authorities in the state are administering vaccination campaigns, but not as much to meet the needs. He added that there are many other factors including the severe winter weather, but the greatest reason behind the crisis is the limited supply of the vaccine.
In the Navajo nation, the total cases related to the pandemic were reported as the highest in the country initially. However, this part of the country could successfully bring the numbers down after following proper measures.
Harley Jones, the lead of HOPE, a domestic response to COVID-19, said that in the Navajo Nation, access to the internet is not something easy for the residents to grab their reservations to get the vaccine shots. So, reaching the people of the Navajo Nation is not as simple as telling them to get their appointment after visiting a website.