Dr. Peter Hotez said Tuesday that the optics of having to incentivize the Covid vaccine is not putting the US in a positive light for the rest of the world.
“When vaccines are called for in India and Brazil, we just look like a nation of grumpy teenagers. So when absolutely necessary, sure, though it’s hard to swallow,” said Hotez, the dean of Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine College of Medicine.
A recent survey by UCLA found that roughly a third of those who were not vaccinated said paying $ 100 in cash would increase the likelihood of getting a shot.
The rate of vaccination has fallen across the country. In the U.S., an average of 2.3 million shots are fired per day, a 32% decrease from last month’s high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The federal government is changing its strategies for distributing vaccines across the country as vaccinations slow down. States can refuse unneeded doses and the shots will be redistributed to areas of higher demand.
Hotez, co-director of the vaccine development center at Texas Children’s Hospital, told CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” that the new strategy carries a risk.
“In terms of shipping unused cans to other states, there is a risk that we will create this red-blue state divide where we will stop transmission in some parts of the country but not in others,” Hotez said.
Several polls have found that Republicans are more likely to say they don’t want a vaccine.
Hotez told Shepard Smith that in several northeastern blue states, more than half the population had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and, as a result, there has been a greater decrease in coronavirus infections in the past two weeks.
However, red states like Alabama, Tennessee, and Wyoming have much lower vaccination rates and higher infection rates than their counterparts in the blue state, Hotez said.