Watch CBS News

Some Primary Care Physicians Ask Why They Still Can't Offer COVID Vaccine To Patients

EAST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- President Joe Biden is in a race against time, pushing to get more Americans vaccinated by July 4.

This comes as some local doctors ask why they're still waiting to be able to give vaccines to their patients

In an all-out push to end the pandemic, the president is calling June a month of action, setting a goal to get 70% of adults at least one dose of the COVID vaccine by July 4.

"We're at 63% of adults with one shot, and we're getting closer, but we still have work to do," Biden said.

The race to vaccinate comes as daily demand drops and has stalled significantly.


"If you're vaccinated, you are protected. If you are not vaccinated, you are not protected," Biden said.

The president says some day care providers will now offer free child care while parents get their shot, and some pharmacies will stay open all night on Fridays in June.

Dr. Alexander Salerno, of Salerno Medical Associates in New Jersey, says in addition to pharmacies and mega sites, why not also share the supply with trusted primary care physicians to help hesitant patients get over the hump? Especially in communities of color where access can be an issue.

"If I have the flu vaccine, the pneumonia vaccine, the Gardasil vaccine, the hepatitis vaccine ... But I don't have the COVID vaccine? Isn't that a big one?" Salerno said.


He was expecting to receive hundreds of doses to dole out in December. The state says it will provide vaccine to physicians who can safely handle and store it. Salerno is still waiting.

"It's an ongoing, stumbling and fumbling public health rollout," Salerno told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

Since a booster will probably be needed, a lot of people are wondering if they'll have to stick to the vaccine brand they got originally. A mix-and-match clinical trial is now in its early stages.

"When vaccine was in short supply, the NJ Department of Health gave doses to large medical groups who could handle 1,000 dose trays and ultra cold chain storage. That included several hundred primary care physicians who registered and attested to the CDC that they can handle safe and appropriate storage and administration," a New Jersey Department of Health spokesperson said. "Now just recently, the suppliers are packaging the vaccine in smaller dose packs with easier storage so more primary care physicians can meet the requirements including the need for proper freezers/refrigeration and digital data loggers for temperature control. As a result we will be continuing to provide vaccine to more physician practices if they register and sign a statement with the CDC attesting that they can meet the requirements."

CBS2's Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.