COVID-19 hotspots are increasing in places like Michigan and the northeast, but while the White House continues to distribute vaccines based on population, states in need are running shorthanded.
"Population-based is not making any sense," Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, told The Hill.
President Joe Biden denied Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's request for more vaccine doses. She held a press conference Friday outlining her efforts to get more vaccines, despite the president rejecting her call to action.
"I made the case for a surge strategy," Whitmer said. "At this point, that's not being deployed but I am not giving up."
The strategy instead should be, Whitmer added, "squelching where the hot spots are."
Jeff Zients, the White House coordinator for the COVID-19 response, said in a conference Friday the White House would continue distributing vaccines based on population.
"There are tens of millions of people across the country in each and every state and county who have not yet been vaccinated," Zients said.
"And the fair and equitable way to distribute the vaccine is based on the adult population by state, tribe, and territory. That's how it's been done, and we will continue to do so."
"The virus is unpredictable," he added. "We don't know where the next increase in cases could occur."
Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, stated how it would make more sense to deliver the vaccine based on need, not just population alone.
"The biggest tragedy right now is that we have vaccines on hand that can prevent hospitalizations and death and, when we see a rise in that, it makes sense that we should act swiftly to try to prevent that from happening," she said,
"If there are states that are struggling more than others, I think it makes sense for them to get additional vaccines."
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