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States and governors to ‘move quickly to other priority groups,’ surgeon general says

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said the U.S. needs to improve distribution at the local level.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, center, is joined by Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, left, and Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike during their visit at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, center, is joined by Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, left, and Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike during their visit at Saint Anthony Hospital in Chicago, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020.
Youngrae Kim, Chicago Tribune via Associated Press

Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said in a new interview with “Today” that the U.S. needs to improve distribution at the local level and prioritize at-risk groups to improve the vaccination rate.

  • “The problem really is that we need to continue to do a better job of matching up supply and demand at the local level.”

Adams said some states have done a good amount of vaccine distribution. He then offered three ideas for how to ramp up vaccinations:

  • “No. 1, we’re going to increase funding. More funding. We’re going to make sure that congressional funding that was appropriated gets to the states.
  • “More locations. We went from 1,000 locations the first week to 12,000 locations now.
  • “And more priority groups. Your headline today really should be Surgeon General tells states and governors to move quickly to other priority groups.”

Adams said he agreed with a recent op-ed piece from Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who called on major pharmacies to start distributing the vaccine now.

  • “I think that’s a great idea and we appreciate the partnership with CVS, Walgreens and our other pharmacy partners who know how to do this. We don’t need to re-create the wheel, we just need to get it rolling.”

More on Gottlieb’s idea

Gottlieb, the former FDA chief, said over the weekend that the vaccine should be made more generally available, according to CBS News.

  • “Make the vaccine more generally available through the retail pharmacies, through Walmart and Walgreens and CVS to a broader population, to a general population starting with age,” Gottlieb said in an interview on the “Face the Nation” program. “We can walk it down the age continuum, make it available for 75 and above first, then 70 and above, and 65 and above. There’s 50 million Americans 65 and above, a large percentage of them probably want to be vaccinated. At some point, we need to allow supply to meet demand here and get the shots into the arms of the people who really want to get vaccinated and are going to go out and seek out the vaccination.”