This COVID Protection Measure Is "Not Working," Doctor Warns

He says we need to adopt a new strategy to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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The authorization of COVID vaccines has many people feeling relief, but unfortunately, this COVID protection measure isn't going exactly as planned. While some were worried that there would be a vaccine shortage, something closer to the opposite has occurred: A slow rollout system has left extra vaccines sitting in freezers, with some even being thrown away because they expired before they could be administered. Now, one doctor is admitting that the current COVID vaccine rollout plan is just "not working." Keep reading to find out exactly why this protection measure is failing, and for more on the coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Fauci Just Gave This Warning About COVID Vaccine Side Effects.

Scott Gottlieb, MD, a physician and former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told CBS that the COVID vaccine is our "only tool" in stopping the spread of the coronavirus, especially in a time when new variants are rapidly spreading. To combat this, Gottlieb says a lot of people need to be vaccinated quickly in order to produce "enough protective immunity into the population."

The problem is that not enough people are currently being vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 22 million doses have been distributed throughout the country as of Jan. 10, but so far, only around 6 million doses have actually been administered to individuals. Meanwhile, COVID spread is repeatedly reaching new highs in the country. The New York Times reported an average of 254,866 new coronavirus cases each day for the past week—an increase of 38 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

"We need to acknowledge that it's not working," Gottlieb said about the vaccine rollout during a Jan. 10 CBS interview. "We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get out to patients."

Gottlieb says the biggest issue right now is getting the vaccine to eligible patients. While some states have started administering vaccines to people over a certain age in addition to healthcare workers, supply is not being pushed as heavily as it should be, he believes. The former FDA head said that there are 40 million doses of the vaccine manufactured—a number nowhere near the 6 million doses administered. According to Gottlieb, that's because officials "aren't doing a good job getting [the vaccine] to patients."

"You have 40 million on the shelf. We have 50 million Americans above the age of 65. So, we have supply to push it out to that population more aggressively," he explained. "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."

Most states are falling behind on their vaccine distribution, but a few are faring better than others. Using the CDC's data tracker, Beeker's Hospital Review has calculated what percentage of vaccines have been administered by states based on how many they were given. Keep reading to find out which four states have already administered more than half of their vaccines, and for more urgent vaccine guidance, If You Take These OTC Meds, You Have to Stop Before Getting the Vaccine.

1
West Virginia

cityscape photo of Charleston, West Virginia
Shutterstock

Number of doses distributed to this state: 126,275

Number of doses administered by this state: 87,215

Percentage of distributed doses that have been administered: 69.07 percent

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2
North Dakota

grand forks north dakota
Shutterstock

Number of doses distributed to this state: 43,950

Number of doses administered by this state: 29,954

Percentage of distributed doses that have been administered: 68.15 percent

And for more on vaccine restrictions, discover The Only 2 People Who Shouldn't Get the COVID Vaccine, FDA Official Says.

3
South Dakota

rapid city, south dakota
iStock

Number of doses distributed to this state: 67,925

Number of doses administered by this state: 36,890

Percentage of distributed doses that have been administered: 54.31 percent

And for more important vaccine news, If Your COVID Vaccine Site Doesn't Have This, You Need to Go Elsewhere.

4
Connecticut

fast moving traffic on a highway and buildings in Hartford, Connecticut at dusk
Shutterstock

Number of doses distributed to this state: 219,125

Number of doses administered by this state: 116,277

Percentage of distributed doses that have been administered: 53.06 percent

And if you're worried about getting sick, learn The Earliest Signs You Have COVID, According to the Mayo Clinic.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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