Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccinologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, called for “mass vaccination events” Thursday to speed up distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.
While Operation Warp Speed has helped COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer and Moderna gain FDA approval in record time with more on the way, rollout so far has been lower than expectations.
As of Thursday morning, almost 2.8 million Americans have received the first vaccine dose out of the more than 12 million doses distributed, including only 167,149 in long-term health facilities. This falls well short of Warp Speed’s initial projections of 20 million vaccines distributed by the end of 2020.
Offit decried the slow rollout during a Thursday morning appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“So it can’t be like getting a flu shot, where you walk into CVS when you can,” Offit said. “There has to be these mass vaccination events.”
Offit declared himself “one of the lucky ones” for already having already received a vaccine.
“I know that in a couple of weeks, I’m going to be protected against this virus,” he said. “And I also know that there are going to be tens of thousands of people who are going to die over the next few months because they didn’t have the opportunity I had.” (RELATED: ‘Whoop Dee Doo’: Ron DeSantis Blows Off His Own Chances At An Early Vaccine. ‘I’m Not The Priority’)
“I just wish that we had 400 million doses available now and we just got it all out there,” Offit concluded. “But that’s not going to happen. And while we’re waiting, people will die because of it. It is utterly heartbreaking.”