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The Latest: Connecticut is a model for vaccine distribution

Dear Reader,

The vaccine distributions are off to a rocky start, but some states are moving through doses much faster than others. Connecticut is one of those states. What’s the secret? As I found out this week, the state is aggressive about making sure every dose is used and none are left sitting on shelves.

To do this, the state developed a “just-in-time inventory” system where unused doses of vaccine at a given location can be transferred to other facilities where there is demand at the end of each day. The state governor, Ned Lamont, is also allowing more flexibility over who can be vaccinated. Health facilities can determine who they think meet the eligibility requirements, and they should have a waitlist of people to call if they have more doses than expected. The priority is getting vaccines into arms, versus potentially letting vaccines go to waste by rigidly following eligibility criteria. Read more about it here.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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Unfortunately there is not yet a simple answer for this as each state is following their own distribution plan. The first phase is vaccinating health care workers and people in nursing homes. But many people outside of these groups are curious how they will know they can get vaccinated and how to ensure they won’t be forgotten. As of right now, the best advice — according to experts I spoke to this week — is to keep close tabs on your state’s health department website for updates. Also, it’s a good time to make sure you are engaged with the health care system in some way, if you can. If you haven’t been to the doctor in years, it might be time to do a check up. Make sure your health record is somewhere and that you’re part of a larger medical system. It’s likely that hospitals and doctors will at some point be reaching out to folks in their systems to provide updates and guidance over the coming months.

Experts Rally to Speed Up Vaccination Around the World

Why is Oxygen in Short Supply?

What to Know About Delayed Vaccine Doses and the Potential for Mutation

Why Connecticut Is Winning the Vaccination Rollout

Why Are Covid-19 Cases and Hospitalizations Going Down in Some States?

The Pandemic’s Financial Fallout Could Prove Deadly for Decades

The Covid-19 Vaccines Are Safe. Here’s Why.

The Covid-19 Virus Is Mutating. What Does That Mean for Vaccines? (TIME)

A Riot Amid a Pandemic: Did the Virus, Too, Storm the Capitol? (New York Times)

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that