SF tech CEO proposes distribution plan that would 'vaccinate the entire country in 30-45 days'

He suggests turning the focus from who will get vaccinated first and in what order, to prioritizing getting the vaccine out as fast as possible.

Luz Pena Image
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
SF tech CEO says company can vaccinate US in 30-45 days
As COVID-19 cases surge in California, a San Francisco tech CEO has a distribution plan that he says would stop transmission in a month.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- As coronavirus cases surge in California, a San Francisco tech CEO has a distribution plan that is getting lots of attention online. David Friedberg says we should have a war-like mentality and vaccinate as many people as possible without the red tape.

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It started with a tweet by tech CEO, David Friedberg. His primary focus is on the life sciences industry, and his idea for vaccine distribution is catching steam online.

"We have to get as many people vaccinated as fast as possible. The speed needs to be the priority, not deciding who goes first and in what order," said Friedberg.

The first part of his plan calls for eliminating liability on health care providers.

"The reason care providers are taking so long to give a vaccine is because they require collecting an ID, health cards, and all these things because they are concerned about getting in trouble," said Friedberg.

He is suggesting to vaccinate as many people with the first dose. "Right now they are tracking when people are getting their first dose to make sure they follow up with them to get the second dose. Perfect is the enemy of good. When you are trying to win a war, momentum is what matters more," said Friedberg.

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Part of Friedberg's plans also suggests opening a rapid test center for everyone.

"We need to set up a volunteer center where EMS, EMT, police, dentist, anyone with some sort of training should volunteers and give shots," said Friedberg.

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According to CDC data, California has received more vaccines than any other state but vaccinated far fewer people than New York, Texas and Florida.

California has received 2.8 million doses of the vaccine. So far, close to 800,000 vaccines have been distributed.

NYC received 1.4 million doses and has distributed almost 600,000 vaccines.

Texas received 1.9 million vaccines and distributed 850,000.

Florida received 1.6 million and 600,000 have been distributed.

Luz Pena: "Do you believe that CA is being as effective as possible when it comes to vaccine distribution?"

Dr. George Rutherford: "No we are not being as effective as possible"

UCSF's Dr. Rutherford says vaccine distribution is complicated. As to Friedberg's plan, this was his take: "I think this is an interesting approach and I kind of like it. Another way to think about this is that we should be putting all the vaccines into Los Angeles right now. That's where the transmission is occurring," said Dr. Rutherford.

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Dr. Rutherford says keeping track of who is getting the first dose is vital but says there is room for improvement.

"I think we can always rearrange the other tiers based on a million factors and I'm in complete agreement that this needs a military level of logistics, but that's what the state is providing," said Dr. Rutherford.

Luz Pena: "Why is California falling behind when it comes to vaccine distribution?"

Dr. George Rutherford: "It's just the sheer size and the complexity of moving this out across 58 counties who have different plans."

Friedberg says his plan has the ability to diminish transmission in a month.

"We can set up 30 volunteers at each high school parking lot and give the vaccines to 10,000 people a day. We can vaccinate the entire country in 30-45 days," said Friedberg.

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