The Great Vaccine Rollout #106

Deepnews Digest #106

The Great Vaccine Rollout

Editor: Christopher Brennan
With major milestones of the coronavirus’s spread around the world approaching their one-year anniversary, the same countries that one-by-one locked down are now hoping to vaccinate their populations, one shot at a time. It’s the sort of global story where it is great to get a broader perspective and in-depth reporting. This week’s Digest covers all the angles on vaccines and vaccine rollouts, from the UAE to upstate New York, with our algorithm giving quality scores (4s and 5s out of 5) to articles that are worth a read.

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Published every Friday

Nikkei Asian Review

Indonesia’s colossal task: Vaccinating 181m people in 15 months

JAKARTA — Indonesia, the Southeast Asian nation hardest hit by COVID-19, has ambitious plans to achieve herd immunity by inoculating 181 million people across the sprawling archipelagic nation in just 15 months.

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Kaiser Health News

Tech Companies Mobilize to Schedule Vaccine Appointments, But Often Fall Short

On Jan. 14 at 8:43 p.m., Patrick McKenzie tweeted a plea for tech engineers to help him set up a website to track covid-19 vaccine availability in California. McKenzie, who heads a Bay Area financial services tech company, issued the call to “anyone in California [who] wants to do a civtech project which matters.”

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Columbus Dispatch

Independent Ohio pharmacies point to West Virginia as model for COVID vaccine rollout

As Ohio tries to bolster its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, a neighbor to the south may offer a possible strategy.

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Editor’s Note:

Beyond comparisons between countries, places such as the U.S. also have seen differences between states. Here the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio looks at the success of states such as West Virginia, which is also mentioned in the article from the Globe and Mail below – Christopher Brennan, Editor


Exclusive: Pakistan to allow private firms to import COVID shots, exempt from price caps – documents

Pakistan is to allow private companies to import coronavirus vaccines and has agreed to exempt such imports from price caps, according to documents reviewed by Reuters, even as the nation scrambles to secure supplies.

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Why Dubai could be a test case as other global cities weigh return to normality

As other wealthy nations tightened Covid-19 restrictions over the winter, Dubai decided to take a risk, gradually reopening its economy while embarking on one of the world’s most extensive vaccination drives.

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Globe and Mail

How are small, rural U.S. states doing so well in the COVID-19 vaccine race? Why some rollouts work better than others

Underpopulated places such as West Virginia have higher vaccination rates than some of the wealthiest states, thanks in large part to early and important decisions about distribution and logistics

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Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

‘There are going to be problems’ as NY COVID vaccine push adds underlying conditions

For Barbara Evert, getting the COVID-19 vaccine means the chance to hug her grandchildren, return to the office and protect her already weary heart and lungs from being ravaged by the respiratory disease. The 64-year-old heart disease survivor is one year shy of the age limit for Phase 1b, New York’s second round of vaccine eligibility that included those 65 or over, and she didn’t qualify under any of the job-specific eligibility criteria. She has been researching the issue for weeks, looking into when and how she can get a shot.

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The Conversation

We’re building a vaccine corps of medical and nursing students – they could transform how we reach underserved areas

We’re testing that concept right now at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where I am the chancellor. So far, 500 of our students and hundreds of community members have volunteered for vaccine corps roles. Our graduate nursing and medical students, under the direction of local public health leaders, have already been vaccinating first responders and vulnerable populations, demonstrating that a vaccine corps can be a force multiplier for resource-strained departments of public health.

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Use of troops in vaccination effort is off to a slow start

The Biden administration’s rollout out of active-duty troops to boost vaccination capacity is off to a slow start as the Federal Emergency Management Agency sorts through requests from individual states, according to multiple defense officials.

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Press Association

A lot of work to be done to encourage vaccine uptake among social care staff

Mark Cunningham, chief executive of Heathlands Village in Greater Manchester, said about 84% of its 350 staff have had the vaccine.

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NY Times

‘Race and Place Matter’: A Biden Adviser Tackles Coronavirus Inequities

WASHINGTON — President Biden has said repeatedly that racial equity will be at the core of his coronavirus response. Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith is in charge of making that happen.

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Vaccination rates follow the money in states with big wealth gaps

The affluent town of Woodbridge, Conn., has less than half the population of neighboring Ansonia, and yet it’s home to more people who have received a Covid-19 vaccine. The inequity is stark: In Woodbridge, where residents have a median household income of $138,320 a year, 19.3% of the population had been vaccinated as of Feb. 4, according to Connecticut health department data. In Ansonia, where the median income is $45,563 a year, just 7.1% have received their first shot.

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Editor’s Note:

Vaccinations are also not happening in a vacuum, with differences in things like wealth affecting things. Here our algorithm highlighted a piece from Olivia Goldhill at STAT looking into the data. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

My London

British Somali doctor’s mission to get London’s Somali community vaccinated

Doctor Farah Bede is a GP in Tower Hamlets who wants to study the impact of coronavirus on her community Street protests rarely bring about political change in isolation, actual change usually comes from self-interested elites.

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Experts urge caution as coronavirus variants spread in Japan

TOKYO — The number of people found infected with new strains of the coronavirus in Japan has topped 100, with community infections reported and major clusters seen in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

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Wall Street Journal ($)

AstraZeneca Plans to Double Covid-19 Vaccine Output

Like other vaccine makers, AstraZeneca and Oxford are working on new versions of the shot to target existing and emerging variants of the coronavirus. The drugmaker said Thursday it hoped to reach production of an adapted vaccine at scale within six to nine months, using clinical-trial data and manufacturing agreements already in place.

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New Statesman

Europe’s vaccine crisis has revealed to the UK and Ireland the true nature of the European Union

The moment that Brexit appeared advantageous, Ireland became collateral damage in the EU’s need to cover its own vulnerability.

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Brookings Institution

Rich countries have a moral obligation to help poor countries get vaccines, but catastrophic scenarios are overrated

As rich countries ramp up their vaccination efforts, there is a lot of concern over the when and how of developing countries also receiving and distributing vaccines in a timely manner and finally getting this horrible pandemic behind us.

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People with developmental disabilities should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccine, say advocates

Kelton Broome sweats during interval training with Special Olympics NWT in a large Yellowknife gym. For most of the pandemic, group activities like this were stressful for him, but since getting a COVID-19 vaccine, he feels safer.

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Editor’s Note:

A continuing question with vaccines is who gets it first and when. This piece from Canada looks at those with developmental disabilities as a potential priority group. – Christopher Brennan, Editor

London Evening Standard

London falls to bottom of the vaccine rollout league

London has fallen back to the bottom of the national vaccine roll-out effort and faces a challenge to hit the target of vaccinating its 1.5 million most vulnerable residents by Monday, the Standard can reveal.

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Daily Nation (Kenya)

Covid-19 Jabs to Reach 16 Million Kenyans By 2023, Health Ministry Says

It could take Kenya up to 2023 to vaccinate 16 million vulnerable citizens against Covid-19, a detailed Ministry of Health immunisation plan has revealed.

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