UNL professor says vaccine distributors have to step up for families
Shawntell Kroese joins one of many who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19. She says for each American family, distributors have to step it up.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Shawntell Kroese joins one of many who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19. She says for each American family, distributors have to step it up.
“My husband was a 50-year-old, no preconditions, very healthy man with four kids and it’s devastating,” said Kroese. “It’s absolutely devastating that he’s not here with us.”
The UNL professor recently lost her husband to COVID-19, just as vaccines are on the cusp of becoming available to more citizens. She teaches supply chain and says things like temperature, supply vs. demand, and the holidays played huge roles in how long it takes for vaccines to reach citizens.
“You have a lot of entities that have never done anything at this kind of scale,” said Kroese. “I think particularly challenging are all the different tools in terms of who’s eligible today, when does that change how do you get that out. Do you have enough physical space to actually provide that vaccine?”
When I ask why 90,000 vaccines haven’t been given out in–state at the time of our interview, she says bottlenecks in the supply chain become the issue when more vaccines are made than given.
“A bottleneck is a place where you know it’s not able to kind of move at a similar pace,” said Kroese. “So, if you look at a lot of the statistics of the vaccine, there’s been a lot more vaccine made have than actually given.”
So what doe the professor suggest to help get shots to Nebraskans faster? Shawntell says the state can use more local resources. Like taking advantage of local businesses, trucking, and optimize on private entities.
“There’s also some of the largest trucking companies in the country are located in Nebraska,” said Kroese. “You know, you have large businesses that are located in Nebraska. So I do think that there is an opportunity to really tap into our very best, very smartest resources, and not be afraid to ask for help.”
She says though it is a complicated process, most of all, each person from the distributor to the truck driver, plays their part, and it has to become more of a personal issue for everyone.
“You know, the way you execute this it’s not political,” said Kroese. “It’s all about, like, making sure that fathers get to come home to their kids, you know that mothers, get to be with our families.”