Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) slammed federal distribution of the coronavirus vaccine on Friday, calling the lack of a comprehensive strategy “inexcusable.”
Romney called the unprecedented rapid vaccine development “a tribute to the [National Institutes of Health], the [Food and Drug Administration] and to the professionals in the pharmaceutical industry.”
However, he said, “unlike the development of the vaccines, the vaccination process itself is falling behind. It was unrealistic to assume that the health care workers already overburdened with COVID care could take on a massive vaccination program. So too is the claim that CVS and Walgreens will save the day: they don’t have excess personnel available to inoculate millions of Americans.”
The senator went on to suggest a plan in which “every medical professional, retired or active, who is not currently engaged in the delivery of care” is trained to administer the shot, with states establishing vaccination sites throughout their borders. A schedule could then be established based on patient risk and birthdate.
“The current program is woefully behind despite the fact that it encompasses the two easiest populations to vaccinate: frontline workers and long-term care residents,” he said. “Unless new strategies and plans are undertaken, the deadly delays may be compounded as broader and more complex populations are added. We are already behind; urgent action now can help us catch up.”
National public health officials have also expressed concerns about the handling of vaccine distribution thus far.
"We would have liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today by the end of the 2020, which was the projection," Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, told “Today” earlier this week.
White House testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir, meanwhile, told CNN Thursday that officials "need to be doing a better job, but all vaccine programs start somewhat slow.”