Pitt public health expert sees vaccine distribution issues continuing, but overall COVID-19 situation improving


Mark Roberts says the decentralized way vaccines are being distributed might not improve, but those issues could dissipate with a greater volume of doses.

WTAE PITTSBURGH — "It’s not very well organized," said Mark Roberts, with the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

HPM's Roberts said this decentralized system where people are calling around to pharmacies and providers on their own is inefficient, but it may be too late to change it. "It’s not just that there are 50 different states distributing the vaccine; there are some states that are different in different counties. So you’re getting a lot of frustration about how they can’t figure out how to get a vaccine," Roberts said.

Roberts was optimistic that as more doses become available to providers that the stress surrounding those over 65 will dissipate. "The fact is, it’s getting better. And as more and more, if we’re really going to be able to get 11, 12, 15 million vaccines a week, we will get out of this," Roberts said, hoping America is on track to reach those milestones by March or April.

Big picture, Roberts says vaccine distribution remains the biggest hurdle. However, the vaccines themselves have proven effective against some of the variant strains of COVID-19 that have emerged globally, Roberts says.

Roberts also says the decline in cases, which he attributes to mitigation measures more than vaccines at this point, is good news.

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