Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is calling on President Joe Biden to grant states greater control of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
During an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, the Republican governor suggested that Biden administration officials aren’t doing enough to communicate effectively with state officials. He said that this has caused confusion, and in some cases, COVID-19 vaccines have been sent to locations that have already received shipments from the federal government.
“Give it to the states, we'll get it out ... it’s easier to coordinate that way,” Hutchinson said. ”We’re going to continue to increase getting those doses out.”
The National Governors Association on Feb. 15 asked the president for “enhanced reporting and coordination between federal and state governments on COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts.”
It asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distinguish between several federal distribution programs in its reports data on vaccine distribution so as to provide more clarity on which efforts are state-run and which efforts are federally-run.
The letter also asked that federal decisions about pharmacy use and Federally Qualified Health Centers be coordinated with state governments.
One vaccine is made by Pfizer and BioNtech; the other is made by Moderna, with assistance from U.S. health officials. Pfizer is authorized in people as young as 16, whereas Moderna is for people over 18 years old.
At least 11 states have seen delays in the rollout of vaccines due to severe winter conditions, with many forced to shut vaccination sites and reschedule appointments.
The Biden administration didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment by The Epoch Times.