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The numbers of people vaccinated in Georgia aren’t good compared to other states. And, the explanation seems to be worse.

Governor Kemp said last Friday that storm-related supply issues and federal pharmacies withholding vaccines have caused our vaccination rate to be the lowest in the country. But, why are we lower than all other states who we border who should have the same issues?

It’s clear that Georgia is the worst state because (1) Governor Kemp chose a bad strategy to spread the vaccine too thinly across the state and (2) Georgia has been unable to fix errors in its reporting system.

On the first issue, Georgia made the decision in January to allocate vaccines to 1,200 providers. Since a lot of those providers are in high vaccine hesitant rural areas, vaccines did not get into arms quickly. In fact, vaccines were sent back to metro Atlanta. Unlike North Carolina who decided to scale back to fewer providers, GA simply tried to move around the vaccines. So it was a bad strategy followed by a very slow shift to provide more vaccines to people who wanted them.

On the second issue, the DPH still has problems with the data. DPH can’t seem to figure out how to fix the data after 3 months. It’s kind of hard to fix a problem with your strategy if your underlying data is questionable.

Instead of fixing the data problem and re-aligning the strategy, Governor Kemp chooses to blame others (supply issues, pharmacies) and try to change the measures.

Georgia has amazing expertise in logistics given UPS, Delta, etc., incredible vaccine knowledge with the CDC headquartered in Atlanta and the desire to continue as the “top state for business.” But without a sound strategy and a measurement system, we could continue to lag other states on this critical logistical challenge.

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