ASU professor says supply chain issues are slowing down vaccine deployment

As of Feb. 5, more than 820,000 vaccines have been administered in Arizona, and nearly 30 million doses administered nationwide.

However, the goal of having 70% of the U.S population vaccinated, or about 230 million people, is still a ways off, and coordinating all of this on such a large scale is no easy task.

From technology issues to storing the vaccine itself, there are no doubt a number of challenges when trying to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, but one of the keys to success in the coming months is properly managing that distribution.

"We’ve never done something like this before, so it is easy to complain, but it is also a learning experience, if we get new products, et cetera," said Arizona State University business professor Gene Schneller.

Schneller says there have been a number of supply chain issues when distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, and it really all comes down to logistics. One of the ways Schneller says things will get better is if states are able to regulate the supply chain, and get the vaccine to pharmacies.

"They are much more community-based. People can get to them," said Schneller.

Schneller also calls the distribution across the states 'uneven,' believing that there should be more of a standardized protocol for all states, in terms of prioritizing the vaccine.

With a couple of new one-dose vaccines on the horizon, Schneller says there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and he is projecting that the country will reach that 70% vaccination goal in spring.

That timeline, of course, depends on a number of factors, including the use of one-dose vaccines to speed up the process.

According to Schneller, one of the complications that is slowing down the process is technology, as many vulnerable seniors have had a hard time signing up to get the shot. In addition, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines currently in use across the country both need to be kept at extremely cold temperatures, which makes it difficult to keep and store.

However, as Schneller has pointed out, this is all new territory, and the hope is that things will speed up in the coming months.

"Ideally, we will have those vaccines," said Schneller. "Many more people will have vaccines in their arms, and I think that’s great."

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COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)