The slow pace of COVID-19 vaccinations in Maine is keenly disappointing to vulnerable Mainers. While the Maine CDC blames Operation Warp Speed for reduced deliveries, less than half of the vaccine received to date has been injected. Weeks are going by, the virus is out of control, but immunizations seem to be creeping along.

The CDC seems to be planning to vaccinate all members of Class 1A (medical personnel and nursing home residents) before starting with vulnerable oldsters in the general population (Class 1B). Every effort should be made to vaccinate the 1A group as quickly as possible. But to hold up on even starting with Class 1B until all members of Class 1A can be located and vaccinated makes little sense. Once Group 1A is well underway, as resources permit, the next group should be started.

It would also calm growing apprehension about the vaccination effort to have more information on how the vaccine will be given. Vaccinating health care staffs and at nursing homes is pretty straightforward. Vaccinating the general public is another matter. Will there be vaccine centers established? Will people go to their doctors or their drug stores? Will people sign up on-line, or wait in line? Will there be certificates or license notations? And, above all, when?

Enough time has gone by for our health care officials to have developed plans for this immense and crucial undertaking. Leaving the population to guess what is going to happen suggests that further disappointment may be in the offing.

Peter L. Murray

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