Gov. Doug Ducey’s laissez-faire approach to the economy during the pandemic is commendable. People need paychecks.

The same won’t work with vaccinations for the coronavirus. Plain and simple, the rollout isn’t working well enough. Ducey may think it is, and can point to the opening of a vaccination center in Glendale as evidence, but it’s not.

At the current rate, community spread – with severe illnesses and hundreds or thousands of deaths – will outrace the vaccination rate.

A prime reason for the vaccination failure is the lack of vaccine. Production is occurring at a national level. There are problems enough there.

Yet judging from the herky-jerky rollout in Arizona, maybe it’s a good thig that the state hasn’t received enough.

Arizona’s decentralized rollout means the Mohave County Health Department’s role in distributing the vaccine is pretty much limited to listing a handful of vaccination providers in the county and essentially sasy call one of them.

Ducey said the state is taking over more of the distribution functions. So far, that means spending a few hours trying to figure out how to register then going to a football stadium near Phoenix.

By Ducey’s design, the state is doing little to restrict the public’s movement or businesses during the pandemic. That’s fine as long as his administration can execute on rapid vaccinations, the one thing that’s needed to return life to normal.

Back in the 1960s, the federal government orchestrated a very effective national distribution of the Sabin oral polio vaccine. The public was alerted to go at certain times to distribution centers. That was it.

A distribution system based on the first letter of someone’s last name is a lot easier to manage than a half-dozen different priority categories, each having their own criteria. There isn’t enough available vaccine to get through the alphabet yet, but it would quickly distribute what is available.

If vaccinations are the essential part of ending the pandemic, as Ducey says, then he better make sure his administration executes on the promise.

— Today’s News-Herald


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