What to do when there's a COVID vaccine glut

Especially with improved delivery, at some point, perhaps in April, supply will start exceeding demand. The challenge won’t be how to ration a scarce resource, but how to reach patients reluctant to get vaccinated. Based on the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking surveys, more than half of Americans say they don’t want to get vaccinated. Some may simply want to wait; others may be set against getting it.

One reason for the hesitancy may be that it was necessary to ration scarce doses at the start, causing many Americans to internalize the idea that some people may be more likely to benefit or more deserving than others. It is essential to emphasize in public-health messaging that every adult can benefit and deserves the protections they can provide, and there will be no reason to forgo it once the scarcity problem is solved.

Government at every level should work with as many partners as possible to expand access. More Americans will take the vaccine if they can get it at a comfortable location. Not everyone will be willing or able to line up at Dodger Stadium. Insurers, pharmacies and large employers can assist public-health systems to reach people in every community.