Gottlieb Says Still Time to Hit Reset on Disastrous Vaccine Rollout
Former FDA commission Dr. Scott Gottlieb says the current bureaucratized and bungling government effort to vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus is failing and needs an immediate reset to avoid bigger problems.
“We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly because this is really our only tool, our only backstop against the spread of these new variants. If we can get a lot of people vaccinated quickly, we might be able to get enough protective immunity into the population that this stops spreading at the rate that it is,” Gottlieb said in an interview with “Face the Nation. “So, we need to acknowledge that it’s not working. We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get out to patients.”
The government has already missed its year-end target for administering 20 million vaccine jabs by the end of 2020. Current Centers for Disease Control data show more than 6.6 million people have revived their first of two doses.
Gottlieb said the government needs to use an “all-the-above-approach” and push the vaccines out through various channels, including big-box stores and federal sites.
“We need to try everything right now to create multiple distribution points,” he said. “A lot of senior citizens aren’t going to want to go to a, you know, a stadium to get an inoculation. They’re going to want to go to a pharmacy, a local pharmacy or a doctor’s office. So, we need to provide more opportunity for people to get a vaccination where they’re comfortable getting it. But we do need to get these out more aggressively.”
It would be a marked change in how some states and localities have approached vaccination so far. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to ease rules he placed on vaccine distribution in the wake of reports that vaccines were being either unused or destroyed because clinics could not find enough people in state-mandated demographic groups available to get vaccinated.