USF professor critical of COVID-19 vaccination rollout plan

Posted at 4:03 PM, Jan 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 17:34:55-05

TAMPA, Fla. — USF Public Health Professor Dr. Jay Wolfson says he’s old enough to remember when Americans got the vaccination for polio, and it did not happen overnight.

“Even when we figured out what it was, it took another 10 years before the vaccine was available. And even then there was reluctance. But it was a huge rollout," said Wolfson.

That rollout of the polio vaccine had its share of problems, including deaths caused by a bad batch.

Dr. Wolfson says considering COVID-19 has been around for less than a year, we’ve made extraordinary strides.

He says the vaccine development process deserves a lot of praise, but problems are happening now because of the lack of a rollout plan.

“There was no clear message about how it was going to be dispensed," he said.

He says some Florida counties were giving out vaccinations on a first come first serve basis.

“That makes no sense whatsoever. It creates havoc," Dr. Wolfson said.

He says we aren’t prepared because the nation’s public health infrastructure has been gutted over the last half-century.

“So when the federal government ships these things out and when the Governor of states like ours distributes them to counties and say go at it folks. That’s not good enough because we don’t have to go around. And b, there’s not a plan," he said.

Dr. Wolfson says local plans of distribution have to be fine-tuned to make this process work.

“We will get through this once we realize we are all on the same team and COVID is the enemy," he said.