The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California:
Vaccinations at Snail’s Pace

Feb 15, 2021

In a letter to members, the CEO of Kaiser Permanente, Greg A. Adams, acknowledged that Kaiser is very slow vaccinating its members. By January 30, Adams said, Kaiser had been able to vaccinate only 300,000 people—which amounts to about 3% of Kaiser’s 9.3 million members in California.

Kaiser has also told its members that, even though California is allowing people 65 and older to get the vaccine, Kaiser is vaccinating only people who are 75 and older. At the rate that Kaiser is vaccinating people, about 40,000 a week, it would take Kaiser MORE THAN FOUR YEARS to vaccinate all of its members!

Kaiser is by far the biggest HMO in California—nearly one out of four Californians has health care coverage with Kaiser. So the snail’s pace at which Kaiser is vaccinating people gives a good idea of how unsuccessful California—a major epicenter of the pandemic, not just in the U.S. but the whole world—has been in the fight against COVID.

Adams, the Kaiser CEO, blamed this dismal picture on the federal government. He said Kaiser, like the state of California, is not allowed to buy more vaccines directly from manufacturers.

True that the U.S. government marches to the beat of big capital—in this case, the two big companies that produce the COVID vaccine at their own pace, with nothing else but profit in their mind.

But Kaiser can hardly complain, seeing as they are one of the major players in the for-profit health care system.

If the disaster called the COVID pandemic has already lasted so long, it’s because it has been fueled by another, much longer-lasting disaster: the capitalist system and its profit-based health care system.