Azar: States Must Stop Micromanaging Vaccine Distribution, ‘We Don’t Have Orders’ from States for Available Vaccine Doses

On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that there aren’t enough orders from the states for all the coronavirus vaccine doses that are available, urged states to end “micromanagement” by bureaucracy, and said that it’s better to have the vaccine used on lower-priority individuals than thrown out.

Azar said, “[W]e’ve got 38 million doses of vaccine available, but…only 27 million have been distributed. Because we don’t have orders for all the vaccine that we’ve got. We’ve got to get the states to accelerate their administration by opening up the aperture to more people. They’ve got to open up to age 65 and above, age 64 and below that have comorbidities and risks because this is the way we protect our most vulnerable citizens. And we’ve seen variable performance. You know, some states are at 80% of vaccines administered that they’ve received, some like New York are at 30%. This micromanagement bureaucracy from the center has to stop.”

Azar specifically mentioned West Virginia and Connecticut as states that have done a good job with vaccine distribution.

He later added, “I would rather get — have it used on lower-priority individuals than thrown away, and I would rather have lower-priority individuals get vaccinated than to sit around waiting for the perfect to be the enemy of the good to get all high-priority people first.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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