Simone Popperl

West Virginia isn't known for its good health outcomes. It leads the nation in deaths from diabetes, accidents and drug overdoses. But when it comes to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, the state has been a shining star.

Why has it been so hard to get a COVID-19 vaccination? One reason may be the software that almost all medical records in the U.S. are built on.

It makes up the systems nurses and doctors type patients' vital signs and prescriptions into — whether they're getting a routine physical or going to the emergency room with a broken arm.

Back in early April as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged New York, John J. Lennon was sure he would contract the coronavirus.

As a prisoner at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., social distancing was impossible, he says. Making calls on prison phones, Lennon says, meant being "chest to shoulders" with nearly two dozen inmates. "It was a death-trap situation to use the phone," he says.