U.S. vaccine rollout vastly outpacing Canada’s: what can we learn from American push?

 

Canadians perusing social media may be coming across photos of their American peers bearing wide smiles and vaccination cards that show they’ve been inoculated against COVID-19.

 

A recent ramping up of the United States’s vaccine rollout has it vastly outpacing its northern neighbour, and some Canadians are wondering why distribution here is lagging so far behind.

 

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease doctor in South Carolina, says that while the speed of the American rollout has been impressive lately, it’s not been without its faults.

Communication between states has been mostly lacking, she says, and the absence of a uniform standard for vaccine eligibility has led to inconsistencies across jurisdictions. Some states, for example, include teachers high on their priority list while others are still working on inoculating those 80 years and older.

 

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Confusion in the early stages of the rollout caused frustration and dampened trust, she added. And while the shift to a new presidential administration last month has led to some improvements, Kuppalli says there’s room for more.

 

„I don’t think we’re the model of success,” she said in a phone interview. „We’ve had a lot of challenges. … but it’s getting better.

„Communication is better, there’s definitely greater transparency, and states have been very forthcoming in ramping up vaccine measures and rolling out mass vaccination sites. So all that’s helping.”

The U.S. was vaccinating an average of 1.7 million Americans per day this week, and had administered at least one dose to more than 12 per cent of its population as of Friday.