America's maddeningly inept vaccine rollout

I don’t know for sure. All I do know is that my wife is in the 1a vaccine group — those who should be near the front of the line — and getting an appointment where we live (in Pennsylvania) is absurdly, maddeningly complex and frustrating. She placed her name on a list with our county weeks ago. While we wait to hear something from that black box, we’ve turned elsewhere, which means to pharmacy chains.

Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS — it’s like some farcical enactment of federalism, with the most local level of “government” actually a retail outlet of a drug store conglomerate. If you want the vaccine, you need to sign up for an account at the website for one of these chains. Once you’ve worked your way through several screens designed to weed out those who aren’t 1a, you click on “Make an Appointment,” only to receive the automatic message, “Apologies, due to high demand, there are currently no appointment times available.” Neighbors on Next Door tell us that we might have better luck if we try at exactly midnight on Sunday night, when a limited number of additional appointments at select stores sometimes become available.

That’s it? That’s how the United States of America is ensuring that its population of 330 million people receives the vaccine that will bring an end to a pandemic that has thus far killed 500,000 people, slowed the economy to a crawl, and spread psychological suffering throughout the country?