- The US has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccinations per capita rates in the world. Israel has the best.
- Israel chose to prioritize its elderly. The US, by contrast, rolled out its doses using a complicated priority tier system based, in part, on people’s employment.
- In order to fix the US’s vaccination campaign, the priority tier system needs to go, some experts say.
- States also need more federal aid during the roll out process.
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Officials are scrambling to speed-up COVID-19 vaccinations across the US, but a complicated set of guidelines regarding who should get priority have stymied states’ efforts to maximize the number of shots in arms.
Indeed, the US’s roll out efficacy is so poor that it’s roughly 12% that of Israel’s, which is one track to become the world’s first nation to immunize its population against the coronavirus.
As of January 15, Israel has administered 24 doses per 100 people, the highest per-capita rate for any country by a large margin, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, the US has administered 3.6 doses per 100 people.
The US’s snail pace can be explained by states’ lack of federal guidance and aid — Operation Warp Speed delivered vaccines in record time, but ultimately left it to individual states to figure out how to distribute their vaccine allotments.
Experts like Dr. Peter Hotez, a molecular virologist from Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, also argue that the complicated CDC guidelines of which Americans should have priority access, and when, have scuttled the US’s vaccination efforts.
“A massive vaccination campaign won’t work with our current fussy and intricate criteria for who gets a shot and when,” Hotez wrote in a piece for The Washington Post Monday.
The story out of Israel may prove Hotez’s point.
Israel chose to forgo priority tiers, and focused instead on vaccinating its older residents first — in the month since its roll out started, nearly 25% of Israel’s 9 million-person population has received a dose.
Why Israel’s vaccine roll out outpaced the US’s
Israel expects to administer COVID-19 vaccines to all of its citizens aged 16 and up by the end of March. For now, the country has limited vaccinations to people 60 years of age and older, as well as healthcare workers and people at high risk of severe illness. A person’s employment status does not factor into their eligibility.
Go to the news source: US vaccinations hampered by complicated priority tiers, no federal aid