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The Biden administration announced Tuesday it will expand its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, as new cases of the virus continue to fall. The government will boost its weekly vaccine shipments to states from 11 million to 13.5 million doses, and will increase its weekly shipment to pharmacies from 1 million to 2 million. Last week, the daily average number of new virus cases in the U.S. dipped below 100,000 for the first time since early fall; 66,089 new cases were reported Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Voices on both sides focused on some positive developments along the vaccine front. Some on the left covered barriers to vaccine access for certain communities; some on the right highlighted the successes of private businesses in helping expand vaccine availability.
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Snippets from the Right
"The letter detailed two main “issues of concern.” The first surrounded the problem of information. The governors pointed out that reporting by the CDC has created confusion among some citizens of their states. They noted that the federal programs are separate from the state programs and should be reported accordingly."
National Review (opinion)
"[CVS] has administered 100 percent of the first doses and 97 percent of the second doses in 7,822 “skilled nursing facilities” — and 90 percent of the first doses and 47 percent of the second doses in 37,958 “assisted living and other [long-term care] facilities.” (The two categories are classified differently depending upon the level of care residents require.) That adds up to 3.56 million doses injected into arms so far."
Snippets from the Left
"As efforts accelerate nationally to provide the coronavirus vaccine to communities of color, skepticism about the inoculations is often highlighted as a major impediment. But a lack of pharmacies, hospitals, providers and transportation has emerged as an equally significant concern in those communities, where covid-19 has wrought its worst damage."
Noah Smith (opinion)
"The U.S. vaccine rollout, for all its faults, is ahead of almost every other country in the entire world. For those of us who were only recently wringing our hands about American decline, the fact of U.S. vaccine leadership provides a bracing counterexample and a reason to hope that the American system still retains a bit of the magic we were once taught to expect."
Snippets from the Center
"That pace puts President Biden on course for meeting his goal of 100 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office, which would land on April 29. 54 million vaccine shots have been administered thus far, and 5% of Americans have received both doses...The administration is also doubling the weekly supply of vaccine doses to local pharmacies from 1 million to 2 million, and has activated 1,200 National Guard troops to serve as community vaccinators."
The Hill (opinion)
"Every state is taking a different approach to vaccine distribution. The approaches that have worked include clear communication and delegation. It’s time to take note and implement the best fit approaches in each state, because the status quo isn’t good enough. Too much is at stake, and we have to get this right. We have to get this right."