KYW Medical Report: The unexpected barrier in getting COVID-19 vaccine shots to patients

Staff prepare to give the Pfizer Covid vaccine to patients at the vaccination centre
SALISBURY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Staff prepare to give the Pfizer Covid vaccine to patients at the vaccination centre set up inside Salisbury Cathedral Photo credit Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images
By KYW Newsradio

KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross.

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As Pfizer and Moderna continue to produce vaccines, there is an unexpected barrier to getting shots in patients’ arms.

The recent COVID-19 surge is having an impact on vaccine distribution. As health care organizations work to give vaccines to those at the highest risk, there has been a similar refrain: staffing is down across the country.

Nurses and other qualified professionals are focused on taking care of patients and many are quarantined themselves due to exposure.

The Food and Drug Administration has recognized the issue and has encouraged states to broaden the criteria for those who can be vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as those who can deliver the vaccine.

The concern is that some states have utilized only about 30% to 35 % of the current vaccines they have.

Health care systems are looking to retired health care workers who have  the skills to administer vaccines. Dentists are also being recruited to aid in the effort.