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This is how America gets its vaccines

MIT Technology Review: The Biden administration has inherited a web of tech systems and policies that it must navigate to meet its goal of administering 100 million doses in the first 100 days. After just a week in office, the Biden administration is already under immense public pressure to fix America’s mangled vaccine rollout. Operation Warp Speed injected enormous sums into developing vaccines but left most of the planning—and cost—of administering them to states, which are now having to cope with the fallout. The reliance on chronically underfunded health departments has exposed a threadbare digital ecosystem in which manual data entry, unscalable though it is, is often the fastest way to fix things that break. Compounding the problem, local leaders have repeatedly complained about inconsistent vaccine supplies. The lack of top-down coordination and communication has led to thousands of appointment cancellations and countless doses tossed in the trash. Biden’s newly released pandemic strategy is organized around a central goal: to oversee administration of 100 million vaccines in 100 days. To do it, he’ll have to fix the mess. Some critics have called his plan too ambitious; others have said it’s not ambitious enough. It’s guaranteed to be an uphill battle. But before we get to the solutions, we need to understand how the system operates at the moment—and which aspects of it should be ditched, replaced, or retained…”

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