Friday, March 24, 2023

New president tackles one of the biggest vaccine challenges in history

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Hello, readers.

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday. It’s safe to say that he has his work cut out for him.

Long before his inauguration, Biden had made it clear he would take an aggressive approach to fight the COVID pandemic.

Even today, his first full day in office, the president announced more details on how the administration hopes to secure more protective gear for healthcare workers, encourage reluctant Americans to get vaccinated against COVID (up to 100 million doses delivered in 100 days) and put in place the necessary infrastructure to achieve all these noble goals. If you are really bored, you can browse the plan of nearly 200 pages here.

Of course, such plans are about setting goals and shaping programs. Delivering a political message during an outbreak is undoubtedly important, but whether it works or not is a whole different story that will rely on collaboration between private and public entities.

I have had the pleasure of discussing some of these questions on our latest Fortune Brainstorm Podcast about vaccine deployment. The conversation focused on technology and data-related failures that led to low rate of Americans to receive available doses from Pfizer and Moderna vaccines so far.

This is not a blow to the multiple industries involved in this Herculean endeavor. The fact that we even have viable vaccines so quickly is astounding.

But supply chain bottlenecks and the social messaging route are real, and they will need to be addressed if we are truly to achieve sufficient numbers of people in America to achieve herd immunity.

Read on for today’s news and see you next week.

Sy Mukherjee


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