While reading the March 11 issue of The Jewish Link, I did a double take when I saw the ad on page 14 and thought it was left over from an earlier Purim Satire section. The ad thanked Gov. Murphy for expanding COVID vaccine eligibility (not availability) to those in the education field. As anyone anywhere in the world this past year can testify, vaccine availability and distribution are the problem, not eligibility. The fact is that most residents of New Jersey are already eligible to receive the vaccine because of age, occupation, medical condition, smoking, being overweight and a host of other co-factors. Adding even more potential recipients to the eligibility list is actually counterproductive, since it merely increases the pool of residents competing for the same number of available shots. What’s needed is more availability, not eligibility.
There is a large number of seniors who were eligible from the very beginning to receive the vaccine shots, and who desperately and repeatedly tried with no success to secure an appointment. While the development and availability of the vaccine was a scientific marvel, the distribution and administration of the shots was an unimaginable mass of chaos, confusion, misinformation, frustration, complete lack of any organized system, incredible bureaucratic bungling and political interference and opportunism. This condition was the order of the day in most countries around the world, with the notable exception of Israel. The response to the pandemic will become a model case study of what not to do in future outbreaks.
Politicians at all levels of government, while claiming they were following “the science,” were and are still acting in a political mode rather than in a scientific mode. Thanking Gov. Murphy for his actions during these traumatic days may also be politically wise, but hardly justified.Max Wisotsky