Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

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By Karen Luckett

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been extremely disappointing and perplexing in Santa Barbara. I reviewed the Santa Barbara County vaccine criteria tiers, but could not figure out where I am in the tiers, so I emailed the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. They just blew me off telling me to look at the tiers. I emailed them back telling them I had reviewed the tiers before I emailed them the first time. They responded by saying they would forward my email to someone else because the person emailing did not have an answer for me. 

It has been over two weeks and I have not been contacted. This is bureaucratic incompetence. I have since emailed Governor Newsom, Dr. Ghaly, and Supervisor Gregg Hart without a response.

I am a medical professional, over 65 years old, in private practice, and unaffiliated with any clinic or hospital. I see patients in their homes.

Why cant anyone explain to me what tier I'm in and how I will know when it is my turn or anyone's turn for the vaccine? I don't want the vaccines to spoil before they get to needed health professionals like me or anyone else in need.

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a-1610077239 Jan 07, 2021 07:40 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

As I said in a reply, down below:
SB Townie in their 1/5 post makes many good points and raises many valid questions. The OP, Ms. Luckett, does not fall under what we immediately think of as a front-line health care worker. I question some of her thoughts and motivation. She has multiple credentials; seems that contacting her professional associations would be more productive than asking on Edhat.

concernedcitizen Jan 06, 2021 01:00 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

My problem with SBCPHD is similar to Karen's: SBCPHD's recently release phase schedule for vaccination differs from the CA state mandated (or is it just recommended?) schedule, for these age groups: 50-64 and 65-74. This is needlessly confusing, and, as Karen indicated, possibly wasteful of what is still a very rare vaccine (relative to the number of people to need to receive it ASAP). CA says anyone in the former group can get vaccinated in Phase 1C, while SBCPHD does not allow them to get a vaccination until Phase 2 (!), unless they have an (adequately) essential job. CA allows anyone in the latter group to get a vaccination in Phase 1B Tier 2, while SBCPHD does not allow them to get a vaccination until Phase 1C. I hope our new president will keep his campaign promise to invoke the Defense Production Act (and to issue strong, detailed, science-based guidelines on vaccination schedules) to ramp up vaccine production rapidly enough to administer (not just deliver to providers who appear to be hoarding the delivered doses currently; see GINGER1's comment) 1M vaccine doses per day for the 1st 100 days of his term. (I also hope that CA, FDA, and CDC, adequately fulfill their obligations to closely monitor all adverse reactions to the vaccine, including the medium- and long-term symptoms that even MIGHT be associated with vaccination.)

SBTownie Jan 06, 2021 07:43 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

For those interested, the LA Times has an interesting article today on the "fraud" (or problems, to say the least) already taking place down in LA with vaccine drives. Sign up links for vaccines for healthcare workers were forwarded to many people, resulting in people totally unaffiliated with the industry being able to sign up for slots, and then receiving the vaccine. It's hard to blame them. The entire tiering system itself feels unfair. But these systems are ripe for abuse and chaos and it's already playing out in our region. After the fraud was uncovered, allegedly the fix was to require "proof" of work in healthcare. People can provide paystubs, licenses, etc. How easy are these to fake? Very. And who is verifying it? Like I said, this is all a huge mess and destined to get worse before it gets better.

SBTownie Jan 06, 2021 09:55 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

I agree with VOR here. Government has already proved itself a failure. Get it into the hands of the private sector ASAP now. They'll figure it out. Sure, I wish our government were competent, too, but I'd rather seem someone like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk (though he's an anti-vaxxer) get richer off of this and get it DONE, than sit around for years while our economy and lives tank and more people die or are permanently maimed.

Ahchooo Jan 06, 2021 09:42 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Pit suggested national or statewide direction, not mandate. We needed (still need) a clear detailed plan, with room for local innovation. There was time to arrange this, but instead we seem to be making it up as we go.

Voice of Reason Jan 06, 2021 09:02 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

No Pit, a national or statewide mandate hasn't worked this entire pandemic. With the support of the state and feds, our private sector community health care providers are more efficient and getting the vaccine into peoples arms, just as a community level response to covid-19, rather than blanket mandates for 40 million people across such a large and diverse state (with the support of the state and feds), would have yielded better results.

PitMix Jan 06, 2021 08:54 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Seems to be a problem with letting the locals figure out how to provide the vaccine. Maybe need national or statewide direction on this, and a rule about checking IDs.

forrealnews Jan 05, 2021 11:05 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Seriously!!!! We are dealing with one of the biggest things this country has ever faced in the lifetime of anyone alive today. People are working their A$$es off. It is amazing we even HAVE a vaccine already. No, it's nowhere near perfect but if you want it to be better, get out there and volunteer to help. You can't even imagine how many things have to fall into place to make a project this huge work. Until you have done something to help it, either get out and help or stay home and stop complaining. The millions steps to make this all work right as a brand new thing...not a single person on here has any idea what it takes to make that work. Great at complaining, terrible at helping.

SBTownie Jan 06, 2021 07:40 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Yes, it's amazing we have a vaccine. And a crisis we can't produce it fast enough or even deliver the stock we do have efficiently and quickly. It is not citizens jobs to volunteer to carry this out. I highly doubt there are even opportunities to do this. I can envision people like retired nurses being able to volunteer, but I don't think there is a place for Joe Public to get involved, nor do we want that. We pay our taxes to the local, state, and federal government and it is their duty to uphold their end of the bargain by providing competent services in times of crisis like this. Do not push this burden onto the general public.

PitMix Jan 06, 2021 07:02 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

At least change the name from Op Warp Speed to Op Warped or something more appropriate. Who would have thought a Trump admin program would fail to meet its goals? I'm shocked.

ChillinGrillin Jan 05, 2021 09:39 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

The federal pandemic response has been truly pathetic and confusing. Local government lacks the funding, infrastructure, and expertise to do what the Feds should be doing. Pence is in charge of the task force, Jared Kushner was supposed to do something related to testing I think. Is Fauci still officially part of the administration? Testing is bad because it makes us LOOK bad as a country? And ultimately it's left to the states? Who leave it to counties? And it was all supposed to be over in two weeks? Or by Easter? Oh wait it's going away, just keep waiting. Going into this Cat-5 hurricane of stupidity people refer to as a presidential administration, I knew Trump would hit some crisis and completely fall apart. Every president faces difficulties that define them, and this one will be defined by watching TV, tweeting and golfing while his country faced disaster and he had the ability to lead and take initiative. Profoundly pathetic.

a-1610076184 Jan 07, 2021 07:23 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

SB Townie in their 1/5 post makes many good points and raises many valid questions. The OP, Ms. Luckett, does not fall under what we immediately think of as a front-line health care worker. I question some of her thoughts and motivation. She has multiple credentials; seems that contacting her professional associations would be more productive than asking on Edhat.

sblocal1967 Jan 05, 2021 07:04 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Vaccine distribution should have been privatized so that competent people with performance incentives would get things done. Same can be said for the majority of services provided by the government. Dems will do whatever it takes to stop vaccine distribution, delay opening up the economy, and keep in person learning happening. They want to crush peoples motivation and get everyone reliant of big gov't handouts. Generaltree is a prime example.

Ahchooo Jan 05, 2021 07:45 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

The vaccine injections are being done by private companies, aren’t they? The hospitals are not government run. That’s where some of the bottleneck is. What was needed (is still needed) was a plan by the federal government laying out how the vaccines would be distributed and what each state would have to be prepared to do. Sounds like there have been failures in planning and administration at all levels. But it might get better as they figure it out.

cielochick Jan 05, 2021 07:02 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

There are some issues slowing down. Health Care Worker in Santa Maria here and have obtained my first vaccine of Moderna this week. We are following CDC and CA public health guidelines

* RNs are administering. Limited, finite resource in the middle of a pandemic

* Due to some cases of anaphylaxis , people need to wait 15 minutes post-vaccine with nurses standing nearby with epinephrine pens. This prevents car lines and other quicker ways.

* Again, we are stretched thin with many staff out with COVID themselves

* Every week more and more are being vaccinated. It is coming for general public and announcements will be clear and well-publicized

cielochick Jan 06, 2021 06:34 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

An RN needs to be close by. There is a shortage. Staff is critical. Space isn’t always the only issue. We’re fighting the virus in hospitals and clinics AND trying to vaccinate. And there are many sick among us. I know other states are doing things differently. We gave out 200 vaccines today to EMS, police, ambulance workers. Next week, will start 1b. Teachers, grocery workers, field workers, over 75.... Things are moving. Medcenter in SB is vaccinating actively . Let’s come together. Our nation is hurting in so many ways.

yacht rocked Jan 06, 2021 08:07 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

I'm very pleased to hear of some vaccine progress. I do want to counter one of your points regarding drive-thru vaccine sites. The CDC has issued guidance on those (see https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/mass-clinic-activities/curbside-vaccination-clinics.html ) and a number of states including NY and FL have put them into place. The 15 minute issue just requires having space for those who got the vaccine to park for 15 minutes before leaving. This could be done in Santa Barbara at Earl Warren, the old Sears Building, or the downtown parking garages.

Thomas John Jan 05, 2021 06:30 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

There has been little to none national leadership on the rollout. What did we all expect? Some kind of Federal to State framework for implementation?

RHS Jan 05, 2021 06:23 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

A great part of this problem is that the presidential election skewed and distorted a scientific problem. Promising vaccines to be delivered in time to save political careers while not providing the simple infrastructure to get these vaccines into the arms of those who need it. Now the election is over (except for the ranting) and no one seems to care anymore. Minimally the National Defense Act should be implemented to bring on the National Guard and regular military and private industry to distribute and administer the shots that are available and to produce double the number now being offered. This can be done if we over ride the profit motive of the companies who want to hold onto to the production for their own bottom line. (We may have to compensate them some later but that would be a small price to pay.) I tried to find out from the CHS site what is the plan for SB and found that the "plan" founders after the very first priority list. No one can do what is needed but they continue to issue charts and press releases to cover their back sides. It is a real failure of political leadership, mainly federal, but all levels.

Voice of Reason Jan 05, 2021 04:23 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

I'm not an anti-vaxxer but I'd like to point out the same people that keep talking about the horrific long-term effects of covid, which has only been around 10 months, are so sure of the safety of a vaccine that's barely a month old and uses a new type of vaccine technology that hasn't been used before (successfully at least).

PitMix Jan 06, 2021 07:06 AM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

That's the way our brain works when we see a threat in our environment. Do I risk the possible threat of catching covid and its side effects for some people (death, long term disability) or do I get the vaccine and definitely expose myself to the unknown side effects? At least 70% of us are willing to do the latter. We'll see how the other 30% do.

pstarSR Jan 05, 2021 03:50 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

the only bit im gona comment on is the " i dont want vaccines to spoil, before I get mine....."

you are aware they are stored in refrigerators and can stay that way for awhile. they dont spoil unless someone has handled them incorrectly.

PitMix Jan 05, 2021 04:07 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

More specifically,
"Both of the vaccines can be stored in freezers for six months. So once it's thawed, that's really when the clock starts to tick," Sullivan said. "So for Pfizer, it's five days and for the majority of vaccine (Moderna?) is 30 days."

Moderna said its vaccine can be stored for up to six months at standard freezer temperatures around minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit) or 30 days refrigerated at about 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 Fahrenheit).
The CDC website says Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines take at least a couple hours to thaw. Once thawed, neither vaccine can be refrozen.

SBTownie Jan 05, 2021 03:56 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

That's totally incorrect. They have a well documented shelf life, which varies depending on which level of cold storage they are kept at. It is factual to say that some of the shipped doses are doomed to expire in various locations around the country if they are not used soon. The extreme cold temperatures needed for longer term storage are simply not available in all places. The US could have been investing in cold-chain logistics over the last year to spare us some of this, but no. And regardless - the real issue is that the vaccines are not being administered in anywhere near a timely enough fashion regardless of expiry dates.

humungous Jan 05, 2021 03:16 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

The amount of vaccine disinformation in Edhat comments is dangerous. Perhaps it is time for Edhat to only allow comments when people are using their full name and location like NextDoor.com does. Names and addresses are verified before the person is allowed to comment. This will help with other ridiculousness too. Let's here from the moderators about why this is a bad idea.

a-1609909320 Jan 05, 2021 09:02 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

@Hugh, the intentional misinformation is being removed. You can also email edhat if you're concerned about a comment and they will remove it ([email protected]).
Regarding the actual name thing, Jon is right. Awful comments are seen on Next-door and Facebook, even with a photo and full name of the person making the awful comment. It will not deter people these days unfortunately. I'm also concerned how exactly you expect edhat to do this. Go door to door and check ID's? How much money and time do you think they have?

humungous Jan 05, 2021 03:53 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

I do think it's worse on Edhat and potentially liable if a litigious person gets sick or dies. We don't know if people commenting here are in Goleta or Moscow. Let's hold people accountable by posting their real names.

sacjon Jan 05, 2021 03:28 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Hey Hugh, great idea, but Nextdoor has almost just as many asinine comments as here. Some people are so proud of their conspiracy theories, ignorance and racism, that they happily sign they're names. I've seen it get ugly on there.

ginger1 Jan 05, 2021 02:31 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Wow. It could have been me that wrote what Karen wrote. Almost exactly the same experiences.

I just got off the phone with SB Public Health. For the fourth time. I finally got a response to my two week old email with an email that acknowledged my "health practitioner seeing patients" eligibility and included a link to "register for an appointment." Except the link doesn't work. Waiting for a call back. Not holding my breath.

As of yesterday, of the 17,575 delivered doses of vaccine two weeks ago, a little over 12,000 doses remain in the freezer. That's 12,000 people who remain at risk of getting sick and dying because of the incompetency of our health department.

SBTownie Jan 05, 2021 01:26 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Total incompetence at every level. There was plenty of time to prepare for this. Everyone from the federal government (who could have been securing raw materials like glass, metal, etc. needed for the vaccine packaging and delivery systems) to the local level have totally failed us. I am not even remotely surprised. What surprises me is that anyone believed we'd be good at this.

a-1609881559 Jan 05, 2021 01:19 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

Ms. Luckett, CALL the public health department. You will get results. Email is tough, too easy for people to read and forget. Nobody forgets they're on a phone call and hangs up.

SBTownie Jan 05, 2021 01:33 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

They cannot respond to her because THEY DO NOT KNOW. She is a tough case. Google says she is an occupational therapist and an "Injury & Disability Consultant." This is not a clear-cut "medical professional" anymore than a "nutritionist" is. I do not say this to disparage Ms. Luckett. Situations like this clearly demonstrate how messed up the tiering system is when they really don't have any ability to discern any of this. Who is the governing body to decide this? How will they notify individuals who do not work for big medical companies of their time to be vaccinated? Once we move beyond institutional settings (hospitals, care homes, fire and police departments, prisons [don't get me started on this one], etc.) how in the WORLD is anyone going to know when it is their turn, and how are they going to roll out sign-ups and actually carry things out day of? How will they enroll people and verify their right to be vaccinated as part of any given cohort? How will they follow up with them for the second vaccine? How will they do crowd control if they are not signing people up and these are first come first serve? How will they literally manage the sign up process if they are not free for all first come first serve events? They'll need some software and centralized system to do this. The answer is they won't be able to accomplish virtually any of this, and it will be complete and total chaos. This is a disaster playing out before our very eyes.

chico berkeley Jan 05, 2021 12:56 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

I just came from a DR's appt. in Solvang and the Doc and I were having the same conversation.
He doesn't know when he will get one either,or if he's to young still' or the type of practice makes him less of a risk than other Doc's etc.
Total cluster frag.
Can't trust our local ,state, or the world's governments for that matter.

a-1609910945 Jan 05, 2021 09:29 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

9:19 PM :
I don't think you understand the severity of the pandemic.
Do you think over 357,000 deaths in the USA alone are faked or flu?
International death totals are somehow faked?
Other countries are in on the conspiracy?
Too little thinking behind such comments.

GeneralTree Jan 05, 2021 02:50 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

1:12 - "Do your research" A youtube link with no valid data and unknown people spewing conspiracy theory. The old "flu argument." Go away.

letmego Jan 05, 2021 01:59 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

But there's no flu!! Yes there is, just not here yet (we've tested 624 people, all have been negative for both flu A and flu B). But remember:

- We already have a flu shot.
- Flu wasn't very prevalent in the Southern Hemisphere their winter, suggesting a milder flu season for us.
- The things we've been doing to prevent COVID: (masks, washing hands, distancing, etc) also prevent flu transmission
- The flu is far less transmissable than COVID.

sacjon Jan 05, 2021 01:52 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

1:12 - tell us, exactly, why are they faking the numbers? What is the benefit they receive from telling the public to be concerned about a deadly global pandemic? Who/what is benefiting from this?

I have asked this question over and over from Q supporters and other science/medical-deniers and have yet to get an answer. WHY would anyone force a lockdown/fake numbers? What do they gain?

SBTownie Jan 05, 2021 01:22 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

@1:12 stop spreading lies. COVID is not the flu. They are not even related. They are entirely different viruses. You literally believe the numbers are faked? So a mass collusion of millions of healthcare workers is going on? Utterly ridiculous.

PitMix Jan 05, 2021 01:03 PM
Opinion: Failure in Vaccination Rollout

SacJon, none, but they will start dropping like flies at any time. This is what the internet wackos say. Disbelieve it at your own risk.

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