Veterans May Be Among the First to See the COVID Vaccine

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The vaccines are coming! The vaccines are coming! As the entire country argues as to who is going to get the first round, it appears that a decision has been made – at least partially.

The VA has plans to start distributing the coronavirus vaccines. While the sites and numbers will be limited, it is a start.

It’s been clear from the beginning that those who are older and who have health concerns are the ones who are the most vulnerable. Veterans are often over the age of 50 and have varied medical histories that make them more likely to not only get COVID-19 but be adversely affected by it.

While progressives fight that the vaccines need to go to low-income communities first, it is clear that it needs to go to those who have fought for the country. That isn’t to say that the vaccines won’t also go to low-income, but it cannot go to them exclusively.

It’s all about sharing.

The officials at the VA are planning to receive 73,000 doses of the vaccine, which will be shipped to 37 department medical sites across the country.

Now, how is it actually going to be distributed? That’s where logistics come into play – and there aren’t a lot of concrete answers.

There are 7 million veterans as well as 400,000 employees as part of the VA. Dr. Richard Stone, the executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, explains that it will be a long process. He anticipates that there will be weekly distribution of the vaccines but that it’s anyone’s guess as to how robust the distribution process will be.

Since there are two doses of the vaccine required, the 73,000 vaccines being received is only enough to treat 36,500 individuals. It’s not nearly as sufficient as it needs to be. However, Dr. Stone remains hopeful as it is a way to get started.

The 37 sites already flagged to receive the vaccines are preparing. Extremely cold refrigeration is required – and not all sites have the means to accommodate the vaccines. They must remain at -70 degrees Celsius to ensure they are viable.

New freezers are being ordered, but with such temperamental vaccines, it means that there are logistical issues with both shipping and storage. In areas where there are only small numbers of veterans, it becomes a challenge on how the smaller amounts of vaccines will get to them. Dr. Stone believes it will require “creativity and innovation” to ensure that these get delivered.

This is going to be the problem outside of the VA, too. It’s all well and good that we have a vaccine, but how is it going to be shipped and stored at medical facilities around the country? Many facilities don’t have freezers that are capable of storing at -70. Considering that water freezes at 0, it puts things into perspective.

If anything, the 730,000 doses that are being received by the VA can be a test to see how the vaccines can be distributed. As the liberal media celebrates that there are millions of vaccines becoming available, it’s critical to remember that those numbers are cut in half in terms of how many people they can help since two is given to each person.

And, if the liberals really want to complain about veterans being among the first to receive, it’s easy to look at the percentage of veterans being helped. Only about 0.5 percent of veterans can be helped with this round of vaccines. Further, it is through the VA that it will be easier to see how the vaccines can be distributed. So, it allows the veterans to be the guinea pigs to ensure that mass distribution is going to be possible.

Once the vaccines start to be distributed, it could still take months if not a full year to get the country to where it needs to be. It means that the Democrats need to focus on a plan beyond a vaccine if they really want to get rid of the COVID pandemic once and for all.