The issues slowing down vaccination right now — equipment breaking down, long lines, and insufficient staffing at vaccination sites — come from what experts call the “last mile” of the supply chain, when vaccines go from storage to shots in arms.

The problems vary from place to place, so Biden will need to work closely with local and state officials and private organizations to solve them. One idea from Nada Sanders at Northeastern University is a “backward scheduling” system: Set a vaccination goal for each locale, then work backward to see what plans and resources are needed, and what potential bottlenecks must be addressed, to achieve that goal.


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