Credit…Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle, via Associated Press
Federal officials are not relying on an established system to distribute the vaccine, slowing immunizations and burdening local health departments, critics say.
Roughly 5,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine intended for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., left the national stockpile’s warehouse in Olive Branch, Miss., on July 19. They somehow ended up in Oklahoma.
Then Tennessee. Then Mississippi again. Then, finally, Florida.
In Idaho, a shipment of 60 vaccine doses disappeared and showed up six days later, refrigerated rather than frozen, as needed. Another 800 doses sent to Minnesota — a significant portion of the state’s total allotment — were unusable because the shipment was lost in transit for longer than the 96-hour “viability window.”
The federal government’s distribution of monkeypox vaccine has been blemished by missteps and confusion, burdening local officials and slowing the pace of immunizations even as the virus spreads, according to interviews with state health officials and documents obtained by The New York Times.
Officials in at least 20 states and jurisdictions have complained about the delivery of the vaccine, called Jynneos. (More than half are led by Democrats, including California, Washington, Connecticut and Michigan, suggesting that their grievances are not politically motivated.)
YOUTUBE VIDEO: Frustration grows over monkeypox vaccine supply
“This is happening everywhere,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, a nonprofit group that represents state, local and territorial officials.
“Our response is completely inefficient and breaking the back of state and local responders,” she added. Ms. Hannan said she had never “seen this level of frustration and stress.”
In previous emergencies, including the 2009 swine flu outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines were delivered directly from manufacturers to health care providers through a system run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That system, called VTrckS (pronounced “vee-tracks”), routinely moves billions of vaccine doses for annual immunizations and, importantly, is integrated with state databases that track vaccinations and doses.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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