Biden Ups Vax Plan. Will Northam Be Ready?

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by DJ Rippert

Joltin’ Joe. President Joe Biden increased his planned administration of the Coronavirus vaccine from 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office to 150 million doses. Given that the United States is already distributing around one million doses per day Biden almost had to increase his plan if he wanted to make good on his campaign promise of an aggressive rollout of the vaccine. Biden added to his new plans by claiming that anybody who wants a Coronavirus vaccine will be able to get vaccinated by “spring.” Yet even Biden’s newly found optimism about the pace of vaccine distribution was insufficient for some people. An Op-Ed in the New York Times urged the president to strive for 200 million doses in his first 100 days.

Unfortunately, the planned acceleration at the Federal level will be of little use in Virginia unless the Commonwealth finds a way to accelerate its administration of the vaccines received. As of yesterday, Virginia was dead last in administration of the vaccines it has already received. Number fifty out of fifty states. Or, number 52 out of 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. This miserable performance obviously renders any acceleration by the Feds moot in Virginia. If we can’t administer more than 42.22% of the vaccines we received at a one million doses per day at the national level, what good will it do for the Feds to go to one-and-a-half million doses per day or even two million doses per day? The case could easily and logically be made that the accelerated distribution of vaccine doses by the Feds should be limited to states that have shown the competence to distribute the doses they have already received. That would clearly exclude Virginia.

Wise King Ralph. Governor Ralph Northam and his administration have struggled mightily with Virginia’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. A partial list of problems includes:

  • Confusion over the mask mandate.
  • Ineffective ramp up of testing in Virginia.
  • Immaturity by the governor himself as he joined a crowded boardwalk without wearing a mask.
  • Covering up problems at nursing homes by hiding behind HIIPA “restrictions” that supposedly prevented reporting on the COVID situation at specific nursing homes. In contrast to Virginia, Maryland provided detailed reporting on a nursing-home-by-nursing-home basis.
  • Knowingly underfunding nursing home inspections.
  • Falling five months behind in processing unemployment checks during the financial crisis precipitated by the virus.
  • Being willing to mandate the closing of schools but unwilling to insist that those schools be reopened despite a litany of “science” claiming that reopening is warranted.
  • Failing to administer the vaccine doses that have been received leaving Virginia #52 out of the 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Other governors, in more democratic states, are facing recalls over their mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis. Ralph Northam is fortunate that Virginia’s constitution does not allow for such actions by the citizens.

What now? Virginia’s Byrd-Machine-era style of government relies heavily on a strong implementation of Dillon’s Rule. This centralization of power in Richmond has allowed a small number of politicians to maintain a vice grip on Virginia. However, the COVID-19 crisis has begun to show the limits of our misconceived reliance on centralized state government. It was easy enough for our all-powerful state government to close all of Virginia’s schools one day last March but it’s proven extremely difficult to get all those schools reopened. Northam apparently believes that closing is a state function while reopening should be a local matter. The initial efforts to orchestrate vaccine administration centrally have failed. Now that function is being localized to health planning districts.

Meanwhile, the fops and dandies of our House of Delegates continue to meet remotely while still collecting their out-of-town per diems. Any employee of a private company who tried to do that would be terminated for cause where the cause would be “fraud”.

Virginians need to clean house at all levels of the state government and they need to do that house cleaning with a shovel not a broom. This fall will provide a good opportunity to start shoveling.

By DJ Rippert

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38 responses to “Biden Ups Vax Plan. Will Northam Be Ready?”

  1. ksmith8953 Avatar

    Perfectly said. Today, my husband gets the vaccine through his primary care physician who is located in the West End. Not me. My primary care is located at Chippenham. So much for equity.

    1. Steve Haner Avatar
      Steve Haner

      Story number 6 here on this topic in about 36 hours? Not that we’re obsessed…

      BTW, my wife and I have West End family care providers, vaccine-less still, so its not every practice…

      1. djrippert Avatar

        Being ranked last in a life-or-death matter will garner some attention. The deadly consequences of electing an incompetent governor are becoming eye-poppingly obvious. Yesterday, Pete Snyder announced he will run for governor. There is hope.

    2. djrippert Avatar

      I have an 82 year old relative who is a cancer survivor. Had an appointment in Feb but that appointment was canceled with no explanation. I believe it was the change from hospitals to health districts that caused the cancelation.

      Northam’s incompetence with regard to COVID-19 is a target rich environment. The writers on BR have barely scratched the surface of the deadly buffoonery. Here is another example:

      “Less than one-third of vaccine doses set aside for those hardest hit by COVID-19—residents of long-term care facilities—have been administered in Virginia, according to state and pharmacy data.”

      How hard is it to inoculate people in long term care nursing facilities? You can go room to room for goodness sake. And notice that 42.22% of the total vaccines that have been received have been administered while only 1/3 of the vaccines targeted for nursing homes have been used.

  2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    The real problem here is one of watershed drainage, the upstream cesspool culture of Virginia’s ruling regime. Virginia’s chronic governance of graft, cronyism, money exchange and blatant self interest is downstream from the cesspool culture of it ruling elite. Nothing in Virginia will change until it’s cultural cesspool is drained.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      I agree and have been saying that for well over a decade right here on Bacon’s Rebellion. If Washington is a swamp then Richmond is a cesspool. We have a great opportunity to vote out the incumbents of both parties this November. It’s time to clean house.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead V Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Voting incumbents out? I wish it could be true. The swamp is really a protected “wetland”.

  3. Nancy_Naive Avatar

    Recruit Diabetics! They’re trained in inoculating people!

    VDH had better loosen licensing standards for people trained in administering shots! First thing we’re gonna need is about 100,000 shooters.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      I have frequented gyms for many years. While I have never taken steroids I saw plenty of people who did. They compromised their health by using those drugs. However, nobody ever claimed that the act of injecting themselves caused serious problems. How hard is it to learn how to properly give an injection?

      Meanwhile, West Virginia, North Dakota, Connecticut and Texas all seem to have solved the deep mystery of how to administer shots. In Florida, the government hired 1,000 nurses to do the shooting.

      1. Matt Adams Avatar
        Matt Adams

        The larger issue with this vaccine is the 30 minute observation period looking for an allergic reaction.

        1. djrippert Avatar

          With all respect due healthcare providers … how hard is that? How hard is it to train somebody to observe the patients post-innoculation and call a doctor or nurse if there is a problem? The key to throughput in a line assembly process is standardization of the process and de-skilling each task in the process as much as possible (but no more than possible).

          The military vaccinates recruits extensively and quickly. That seems like a good place to start looking for efficiencies.

          Meanwhile, West Virginia, North Dakota, Connecticut and Texas all seem to have figured this out. What are they doing?

          1. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            Anaphylaxis isn’t a joke.

            “The military vaccinates recruits extensively and quickly. That seems like a good place to start looking for efficiencies”

            Umm yeah I know, I was a subject to that. It’s called being put you nuts to butts in a snake and give you 6 shots with 1 in the 4th point. They don’t even tell you what you’re getting and most of the time it’s not listed on your record.

            “Meanwhile, West Virginia, North Dakota, Connecticut and Texas all seem to have figured this out. What are they doing?”

            I don’t know, ask them. I can assure you that they are monitoring people for anaphylaxis though.

          2. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
            Reed Fawell 3rd

            Got mine this morning. Took 10 minutes soup to nuts, including filling out form. Asked to wait 15 minutes before leaving Walmart pharmacy, crew quite happily working 7am to 8 pm. Piece of cake, outside Virginia state lines, obviously, got shot within 16 hours of calling Walmart. Saw Northam and family there too getting his and theirs, ha, ha!

      2. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        The quick solution is divide our 8.5 million into two groups, give everyone a syringe,…

    2. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      Diabetics are good at SubQ, they don’t do IM.

      1. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        It’s just a deeper thrust? En garde!

      2. Steve Haner Avatar
        Steve Haner

        I was shooting myself with pre-loaded Lovenox once upon a time, a very small and thin needle, which I was told was also used by diabetics. Way different from the lance I’ve seen on these IM syringes on the news. (Ask me about the time I went into the bathroom at an inaugural ball looking for a place to give myself that shot and the Capitol Cops walked in….)

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          An insulin pin is 29 gauge 1/2″ needle. Subq (under the skin)

          22-25 gauge needles, 1 1/2 inches. IM (directly into the muscle, deltoid)

      3. Nancy_Naive Avatar

        Does the military still use high pressure injection? Always reminded me of the bartender’s friend.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          In 2004 they did. 3 in each arm and one in the 4th point.

  4. Matt Adams Avatar
    Matt Adams

    Umm no. Different technique, different needles different angle.

  5. S. E. Warwick Avatar
    S. E. Warwick

    Paramedics could be easily trained to vaccinate first responders and LEOs where they work. Seems like many hospitals have figured this out. Then move on to congregate living facilities and teachers at their schools. This shouldn’t be so complicated.
    If refrigeration is an issue, is there some way to put the vaccine on refrigerated trucks to take it where it is needed.
    They seem to be able to find money for everything else, pay the people who give the shots, even if only a token amount, to reflect the value of their skill.

    1. djrippert Avatar

      Paramedics, firemen, policemen, pharmacists. When I get my regular flu shot the guy behind the counter at CVS walks out and gives it to me. Similar to Mr. Farrell’s experience with the COVID-19 vaccine the regular flu shot process takes about 15 minutes.

  6. djrippert Avatar

    @Reed Farrell 3rd – Good for you. That’s what I would have expected in Virginia. Going into this I would have bet that the delays would have been on the manufacturing side. It’s hard to fathom why we can’t figure this out.

    A friend of mine swears that she knows Canadiens who relocated to Naples, FL to “work from home” in the sun during COVID that got vaccines in Florida with no problem – despite being quite honest about being Canadien citizens.

  7. djrippert Avatar

    @Matt Adams – I am sure Anaphylaxis is quite serious. I’m equally sure that a process can be established to monitor for anaphylactic shock without slowing down the process. See: Reed Farrell 3rd’s experience getting the shot (above). Wherever Mr. Farrell was … they used WalMart to administer the vaccinations. Sounds pretty smart to me.

    1. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      Mr. Farrell’s experience did exactly as I said, they monitored for a reaction. It appears they’ve reduced the time required for observation to 15 minutes. However, you’re going to be limited to the number of patients allowed in the area as well as epi pens available. Those are logistical issue, of which I’m certain Gov. Northam (while he should be knowledge given his Medical and Military training) is not knowledgeable in nor does he employ someone who is.

      1. djrippert Avatar

        We’re having a heated agreement. The process is the same no matter what state runs it. However, as Kerry described …

        “People with appointments for the Covid-19 vaccine snaked from the doors of the Center to the hotel next door. Did I mention it was 40 degrees out and drizzling? Folks who’d been told to arrive about 20 minutes early were waiting three and more hours to get their shots.”

        While Mr. Farrell observed … “Got mine this morning. Took 10 minutes soup to nuts, including filling out form. Asked to wait 15 minutes before leaving Walmart pharmacy …”

        Same requirements. One from a state where the process is being performed competently and the other from Virginia.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          I’ve not had a disagreement nor took exception with anything stated outside of the requirement of observation as a possible hiccup.

          Large facilities such as gymnasiums and convention centers should be used when possible, you can place separate the cohorts in larger groups and drive on. One half of the room for administration of the vaccine and the other for observation and out processing of individuals.

          Could work just as they do for packet pick ups at half-marathons and marathons.

          1. djrippert Avatar

            “Could work just as they do for packet pick ups at half-marathons and marathons.”

            I’ve run plenty of those. That’s a good suggestion.

        2. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          Have several lines with registration numbers/last names, walk up get their vaccine filter to the other side of the area for observation. I’m sure the state could even procure National Guard Armors to administer those vaccines and uses the medic section. A drill hall floor is a rather large area of if it’s a HHC section the motor pool is large too.

          Those are state entities which he has control and there are several around the state. So use those when a convention center/gym is not available. It’s not rocket science it’s just problem solving and having a moniker of logistical understanding.

      2. VDOTyranny Avatar

        So Virginia is also #52 in treating Anaphylaxis?

        1. djrippert Avatar

          Probably doing very well in avoiding COVID-19 vaccine related Anaphylaxis. You can’t get side effects from a vaccine you never got.

  8. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
    Reed Fawell 3rd

    The nurse at the Walmart told me this morning she done 71 injections from 8 am t0 8 pm yesterday, roughly 6 per hour. So today Walmart had extended the time to 13 hours today, and hoped to improve (shorten) their time per injection. Walmart is worlds largest retailer for several reasons obviously, including competence, and efficiency. At Walmart people who don’t worked to rigorous standards get fired, unlike most government workers, unfortunately for us taxpayers, public school students, and citizens generally.

    1. Reed Fawell 3rd Avatar
      Reed Fawell 3rd

      Imagine, all us snotty people, such as those running UVA, laughing and snickering at Walmart. Truth is when America is in a tight spot, the universities since 1960s typically collapse, fall on their face or run and hide and virtue signal, while the deplorables who are left holding the bag, typically save the day. Hence we got West Virginia and North Dakota leading the pack while New York, California and Virginia are totally out to lunch dysfunctional while jabbering, lecturing and virtue signalling to every body else.

      1. idiocracy Avatar

        It’s a real cargo cult mentality, isn’t it?

  9. VDOTyranny Avatar

    .. and this incompetence brought to you by the same people that can shutdown your business (or board of supervisors meeting) for not perfectly following their ill-conceived mandates.

    Its almost like the crony politicians & their ambulance chasing lobbyists have ulterior motives.

  10. djrippert Avatar

    Of course, no problem for AOC to get vaccinated back in December – before health care workers, before the elderly.

    Socialism in action.

  11. Anaphylaxis is not a good thing. I’ve been there.

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