‘I’m incredibly frustrated’: Here’s what Ashish Jha said is the ‘worst part’ of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

"No plan, no money, just hope that states will figure this out."

Dr. Ashish Jha is one of the most quoted experts in his field. Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe

Throughout the last few weeks, Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, has helped to debunk myths about the new vaccine, warned us that holiday gatherings could overwhelm hospitals with COVID-19 patients, and commented in disbelief when states were told they would get fewer doses of the vaccine than they were initially told.

Now, Jha said he’s “incredibly frustrated” with how slowly the vaccine is being rolled out across the country.

In a thread on Twitter late Monday night, Jha noted that in October, the public was promised 100 million vaccine doses by the end of this month by Alex Azar, secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That number dropped to 40 million last month.


This month, Azar said there would be 20 million doses administered by the end of the year, and 20 million reserved for the second dose, Jha noted. That deadline will also be blown.

“Now, we’ll miss 20M deadline but might be able to get to 20M by sometime in early January,” Jha said. “But this is really not the worst part. The worst part is no real planning on what happens when vaccines arrive in states. No plan, no money, just hope that states will figure this out.”

At the state level, he said administering the vaccine will likely fall on state departments of health, which have also had to handle testing, analysis of data, plus give advice to various sectors – schools, businesses, etc.

“So DOHs adding vaccines to their plate,” he said. “Most are super stretched and they are trying to make a plan. They are trying to stand up a vaccination infrastructure. Congress had given them no money. States are out of money. So many are passing it on to hospitals, nursing homes.”

“Did we not know that vaccines were coming?,” Jha asked.

Read his thread on the vaccine rollout:


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on