A problem American healthcare has faced for decades is now taking its toll on COVID vaccine distribution.
There have been recurring shortages of many different essential drugs for at least 20 years, with the biggest problems being with injectable generics. The problem has been caused by large pharmaceutical companies sending generic drug and ingredient production to places like China and India where costs can be lower.
The shortages are extending to coronavirus shot rollout because there are challenges getting items like disposable reactor bags, reagents, and certain chemicals needed for the immunizations. The dependence on China for some of these needed healthcare materials is seen as a growing national security threat for the U.S.