Why is Israel vaccinating its population so fast relative to everyone else?
I am seeing some smol brain takes on this.
Sure, Israel might be a “small” country, but so is Belgium. Or US states like Massachusetts. But in the US it is those famous dense metropolitan centers of the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Alaska that are showing some of the highest Corona vaccination rates.
Also I would actually wager that getting vaccines through to the West Bank is logistically more inherently difficult than getting them to anywhere in the US.
I would imagine that physical transport problems are a very minor problem anywhere outside the most destitute Third World areas.
As for this:
IQ isn’t everything, but it’s not nothing. https://t.co/ZA0LIpGAcH
— Charles Murray (@charlesmurray) January 2, 2021
It’s not like Israeli national IQ is exactly exceptional, though of course it does have a very nice smart fraction.
What’s less often mentioned is Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla’s friendship with Netanyahu and strong identification with his Jewish heritage; millions of doses were priority allocated for Israel. (Yes, Israel did pay more for them – but this is a choice that all but the most destitute of countries would have been both happy and rational to make).
It’s nice to have a high IQ and patriotic diaspora.
Still, that’s hardly the full or even most of the story either – the real scandal in many Western countries is that many vials of vaccines are lying about unused, while people keep getting infected and lockdowns continue. Some of them may go bad if left unused too long.
Nor can it be something uniquely American. The US is actually doing very well by the unexacting standards of the developed world, as both the statistics aggregation at OurWorldInData and perusing French/German media would suggest.
In France, the city of Nice just bragged that it had given a shot to 5 people thanks to what people described as "a huge logistical operation", by which they mean that a taxi was hired to bring the shots all the way from Paris, a 930km long drive 🙃 https://t.co/ED66DZTdoa
— Philippe Lemoine (@phl43) December 30, 2020
Perhaps it could be bureaucracy?
The efficiency of the Israeli bureaucracy doesn’t strike me as a likely explanation. What comparative statistics suggest (and acquaintances tell me) it’s a pretty typical Med country in that respect.
Another explanation is that all these rules and debates about whom to prioritize – front line workers or the elderly – are taking a toll and frankly much more bother than they’re worth. Bureaucrats anywhere will always prioritize their own skin. So perhaps another explanation is that in countries where there are penalties of some kind for vaccinating people outside of certain defined groups, the official response is to just taper down general vaccine availability to minimize the chances of such “mistakes”. Talk of perverse incentives.
This is just speculation and I have no idea what’s really going on.
But I will make one overarching point. Rapidly rolling out vaccines shouldn’t be hard. New York City vaccinated 6 million in a month in the late 1940s.
And I tend to agree with Richard Hanania’s take that rapidly rolling out vaccines is ultimately yet another test of state capacity, just as containing Corona was.
Here's the thing about the west and covid. Containing the virus and vaccine distribution are different problems. The west failed them both.
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) January 2, 2021
And it’s also one that most of the West is failing at. Once might be a fluke, twice is more likely to be a pattern.
Forget about measuring up to China. Do Western countries have lower state capacity now than in the 1940s?