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The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight. The vaccine options from Pfizer, Moderna, the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, and others that are rolling out will bring the end to the pandemic that many have been hoping for. But the distribution and execution of these vaccines have become a new issue.

When the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the FDA in December, the thought was that vaccines would become available in waves, with plans for who would be vaccinated first, and who would come after with a tiered program across the country. Sadly that's not what has happened. We're at a point now where vaccine vials are on the verge of expiring, and there's fighting over who can get the vaccine.

There's no better example of this absolute failure of vaccine rollout than the state of New York.

In New York, the Governor Andrew Cuomo has been issuing threats and fines for everyone. He's threatened fines as high as $1 million over the COVID vaccine, and has ramped up the different reasons he will fine both citizens and hospitals.

His million dollar fine would be for healthcare providers who stray from his narrow view of who should get the vaccine. In other words, if a hospital tries to find anyone to get the shot when a vial is about to expire, they could be fined a million dollars. However, at the same time, if that hospital were to allow the vials of vaccine to expire, they would still be fined $100,000.

Cuomo has also issued a "use it or lose it" threat to healthcare providers as well, saying that they will lose their supply of vaccine if they don't continue to use their supplies. All of these threats have angered New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who snapped back at their Governor yesterday.

This approach is essentially threading a difficult vaccine needle. Where public leaders, like Cuomo, are demanding that only certain people get the vaccine (or they'll get fined), but that they have to get millions of doses out before they expire (or they'll get fined). So these healthcare providers must find enough people, of only certain criteria, all at one time, or else they will face steep fines.

 

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