Alabama needs more efficient vaccine distribution

By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

As the COVID-19 vaccine gets distributed nationwide, there may be light at the end of the tunnel. However, for the time being, the surge in infections and fatalities rages on, and in fact, has been at its highest rate for the state.

By the time this pandemic is completed, projections are that this country will have lost more lives than we did in the second world war. That is unacceptable.

Thus, there needs to be a wartime like effort to get people vaccinated rapidly. However, this past week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that Alabama ranks 48th out of 50 states in percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered at almost 21 percent.

The state should look to retired health care workers to fill in gaps in manpower shortages, as many hard-hit areas around the country did at the start of the pandemic to assist hospitals.

We should have weekend clinics that can administer vaccines, and in addition, administer monoclonal antibody infusions for those who are newly infected and not yet vaccinated to reduce hospitalization and death for the most vulnerable.

It must be an all hands on deck effort by the medical community and the public itself. States around the country are activating their National Guard units to assist in the distribution of these vaccines.

Alabama should activate its guard units to help coordinate the logistics to help with vaccines for the most vulnerable to the virus.

Through natural disasters and the pandemic, Alabama neighbors have always taken care of each other.

Alabama has the opportunity to lead the Nation in protecting its citizens and in ending this deadly pandemic.

Let’s get it done.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.