Reuters headline: “New York and Florida tell hospitals to dispense vaccine faster or lose supply” Jan 4 2021
Which of the following would you expect to see during a pandemic?
A. Unused vaccine serum sitting idle; or
B. Shortage of vaccine supply
It would seem that the natural tendency would be toward B – that during a pandemic, there are many people at risk of infection and they would all be clamouring for the limited supply of the life saving protection that a vaccine offers, not just to themselves but to society in general. How bizarre it is to learn from the headline that hospitals in New York and Florida (and presumably many others!) are sitting on 5.5 million doses out of the 10 million allotted, simply because they could not find the motivation to stick as many needles in as many arms as possible ? What is going wrong?
Hospitals are being paid A LOT to treat patients in intensive care facilities while being paid next to NOTHING to give vaccinations. This conflict begs the question …’why are hospitals involved in the first place?’ Because the government said so, that’s why!
There is a very strong case that doctors in the private sector should be tapped to provide the vaccination service for a fee, or anyone else qualified to stick needles in arms, even if that service allows some ‘low risk’ individuals to jump the queue because they are rich. How much would you pay to receive a vaccination – $50, $100, $200 or more? Imagine how much vaccine would be dispensed if your local general practitioner set up a 24 hour vaccination tent on his front lawn charging $1oo a jab? The doctors would make out like bandits but the vaccine supply would be completely exhausted, most likely pre-sold before the likes of FedEx and UPS could deliver the valued cargo. Profit is a great motivator.
Governments offering ‘free vaccination’ subject to a rationing system based on ‘priority need’ is a noble objective, but also one that over thousands of years has proven ineffective. Socialist principles lead to resource misallocations – it seems that the socialist control of supply and distribution of the Covid vaccine is once again failing us all.
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