Feds should launch massive vaccine effort
Americans are stressing out over how long they’ll have to endure isolation, closed businesses and fear of COVID-19. It all hinges on getting vaccinated. Yet, only one-third of doses shipped to the states are actually making it into people’s arms. The public hears the wait will be many months. Most states are failing miserably.
Meanwhile, Washington pols are fighting over punishing President Donald Trump. They need to choose — vengeance or vaccines — and turn their attention to rolling out a massive emergency vaccination distribution staged by the federal government at malls, arenas and other public spaces.
Members of Congress have already received their shots. They need reminding that the rest of us need ours. It’s how we get our lives back.
To achieve broad immunity by midsummer, at least 1.8 million people need to be vaccinated every day from now until the end of May, according to the American Hospital Association. So far, less than half that target is being met.
Even President-elect Joe Biden’s headline-grabbing promise to deliver 100 million shots into arms during his first 100 days won’t get America back to normal by summer.
In Southern California, nearly all ICU beds are full, and oxygen supplies are running low. Doctors are scoring COVID-19 patients based on overall health status to reserve treatments and ICU beds for those most likely to survive.
Yet, California has managed to use only 28% of its vaccines as of Monday. Arizona’s used only 24%, even though it has the highest infection rate in the U.S.
That’s proof that a wartime-like federal vaccination effort is needed. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, says relying on the states “is not working” and it’s time to “hit the reset” and vaccinate broader categories of Americans fast.