Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s new age-eligibility vaccine plan is simple, smart and straightforward. The more complicated the rules are, the greater the chance of screw-ups and of well-connected people getting their shots before they should. The governor is doing a good job.
Negative media coverage and claims that members of his vaccine advisory group are “shocked” or that the FDA’s complicated plan is being “brushed aside” confuse the point. Priority is being given to older people who are at much greater risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. 96% of coronavirus deaths in Connecticut occur in people over 55.
Our state was one of the first to make sure that everyone in nursing homes who wanted the vaccine was protected. The sharp reduction of COVID cases among nursing home residents across the country is very encouraging.
“I’m almost at a loss for words for at how amazing it is and how exciting,” Dr. David Gifford, chief medical officer for the American Health Care Association told The New York Times.
Speed and simplicity are vital ingredients of a successful vaccine rollout. Decisions about who is or isn’t an essential worker or who has an underlying health condition can be arbitrary.
As Governor Lamont has said: “A lot of complications result from states that tried to finely slice the salami and it got very complicated to administer.”
We need fairness. The state should set up more inoculation sites in low-income communities — in cities and rural parts of the state. But efficiency in delivering government services should be highest priority.
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Richard Davies lives in Guilford.