Vanished Vaccines

It recently became known that only 22 million of the 41 million vaccines given to states had been administered to patients. And although it’s true that there are some sections of the population that are wary of receiving the vaccine, many still want any protection that comes from this vaccine and are having a difficult time getting an appointment to get vaccinated. Whether it’s the faulty booking portal on your county website, or the appointment for your second dose being cancelled, there have been many hoops for people to jump through in order to receive the vaccine.

But now federal officials are being told by states that millions of vaccines are lost. And there’s no telling where in the distribution pipeline these doses are, or if they’re expired or not. There may be an emerging black market for the wealthy and privileged. But it’s already been documented that some hospitals are giving priority to wealthy board members, trustees, and donors. Yet, even if this isn’t where all of the missing vaccines have gone to, there’s still the disjointed distribution system that’s responsible for getting all of the vaccines to the clinics and hospitals around the country, at the correct temperature and on a schedule.

When pharmaceutical companies, distributors and trucking services, state and federal officials, and other COVID relief planners are forced to work together in a coordinated way, the chinks in capitalism’s armor become even easier to see. Losing millions of doses of a life-saving vaccine would never be acceptable in a society run for the working people by the working people of the world. The hard work of the researchers is vanishing into thin air. The careful transportation of so many truck drivers, and the diligence of healthcare workers making sure patients manage to book their appointments to get the vaccine, go to waste when a large chunk of the doses go missing without a trace.

Our collective work is too precious to be wasted by the inefficiencies and corruption of a system that’s only built for the accumulation of profits for a select few.