Surgeon General Urges States To Move To Next Priority Group With COVID-19 Vaccine ‘if the Demand Isn’t There’

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams is weighing in on the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S.

Due to the limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. at first, there are levels of who should receive the vaccine first, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes.

During Tuesday’s “Today” interview, Adams noted that some states have not administered more than 25% of their vaccine supply.

“We need to make sure we’re getting the supply to where the demand is,” Adams said.

He added that funding would be increased, ensuring states would receive the congressional funding, increasing locations, and “more priority groups.”

Adams then urged states and governors “to move quickly to other priority groups,” adding, “If the demand isn’t there in 1a, go to 1b and continue on down, and if the demand isn’t there in one location, move those vaccines to another location.”

Watch Adams’ interview below:

When later asked about the 25% figure noted, Adams added that states are following the guidelines of the phases, but urged, “We need to make sure we’re prioritizing getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible while trying to adhere to the guidelines.”

“If healthcare workers don’t want to get these vaccines in some places… then we need to move on.”

Additionally, Adams shared that he “absolutely” believes it would be a good idea to allow major pharmacies to begin administering the vaccine.

“We can send those vaccines to those pharmacies if the governors and the states tell us to,” Adams said, reiterating that governors and states should “quickly move from 1a to 1b to 1c” and “get those vaccines to where they’re going to be taken up.”

“We don’t need to recreate the wheel, we just need to get it rolling.”

The CDC recommends — based on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations — different phases for the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.

Phase 1a includes healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1b includes frontline essential workers and people 75 years old and older. Phase 1c includes people 65 years and older, those who are between the ages of 16 and 64 with underlying medical conditions, and other essential workers.

Adams’ remarks follow reports of a slower vaccine rollout than expected. The U.S. missed the mark by the end of 2020, falling far below the 20 million people projected to get vaccinated. As of Monday morning, roughly 4.5 million doses had been administered.

President-elect Joe Biden tore into President Donald Trump during a rally for the Senate runoff elections in Georgia on Monday, as IJR reported.

“Getting America vaccinated will be one of the most difficult operational challenges this nation has faced, but we’ve known that for months, and this administration has gotten off to a God-awful start,” Biden said.

The former vice president added, “The president spends more time whining and complaining than doing something about the problem. I don’t know why he still wants the job. He doesn’t want to do the work.”