Even though the COVID vaccine has been helping thousands of people around the world, the US is facing a big problem with it, but it may not be what you think. It’s been proven that the vaccine is effective against the disease, even though it does have some side effects. Instead, the issue relies on how the vaccine is been distributed across the country.
The COVID vaccine has had a slow rollout system across many states, and that’s caused a lot of vaccines to go to waste. A good portion of the vaccines that were supposed to be administered are still in freezers and are expiring.
Regarding this issue, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), talked with CBS about how the current distribution system isn’t working and how we need to find another way to make it easier for people to get the vaccine by creating several different distribution points.
2. The Vaccine Is Our Only Tool Against COVID
During the interview, Gottlieb explained that the vaccine is our only tool to stop the spread of COVID across the country. Not only will it create enough protective immunity in the population, but it’ll also help prevent cases of the new COVID variants that have appeared recently, especially in the states of Colorado, California, New York and Florida.
However, the current rollout system isn’t working as intended. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 22 million doses have been distributed across the country. However, only six million doses have actually been administered, leaving over 50% of the vaccines eventually going to waste.
Not only that, but COVID cases are still going up in numbers across the nation, with an average of 254,866 new cases just last week, according to the New York Times, which means an increase of 38% compared to previous weeks.
1. There’s Only One Solution
Scott Gottlieb also talked about how we need to “hit reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get out to patients.” Gottlieb mentions the low number of vaccines that have been administered compared to the number of doses manufactured. To this, Gottlieb says that we need to start delivering the doses more aggressively, especially to the 50 million Americans above the age of 65.
Some states have already started doing this. Texas and Florida decided to administer the vaccine to essential workers and older people as well. However, as of right now, that’s the exception and not the norm.
“We need to try everything right now to create multiple distribution points. 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,” says Gottlieb.Related: FDA Warns About 13 COVID Vaccine Side Effects