- Due to a shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses, some Americans may have to wait until the summer to get vaccinated.
- Even if Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine is approved by the FDA, the company previously said that production is running two months behind schedule.
- To date, the U.S. has used approximately 80% of its coronavirus vaccine supply.
A few weeks ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci anticipated that anyone in the U.S. who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine would be able to get one by April. More recently, though, Fauci slightly tweaked that timeline due to a dwindling supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
During an interview earlier this week, Fauci said that Americans will likely have unfettered access to COVID-19 vaccines sometime this summer. In a best-case scenario, vaccine supply will increase drastically by May, but there’s also a chance some Americans may not be able to get vaccinated until July or August.
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The reason, according to Fauci, is that “we didn’t have as much vaccine as we would have liked to have.”
“It may take until June, July and August to finally get everybody vaccinated,” Fauci explained during a CNN interview this past Tuesday. “So when you hear about how long it’s going to take to get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, I don’t think anybody disagrees that that’s going to be well to the end of the summer and we get into the early fall.”
As it stands now, Americans eligible to get vaccinated include individuals over the age of 65, healthcare workers, individuals with underlying health conditions, and non-frontline essential workers like teachers and firefighters. According to Fauci, it may take until June to vaccinate everyone from the groups listed above.
Part of the problem with the COVID-19 vaccine supply is that Johnson & Johnson — whose own coronavirus vaccine may receive an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA later this month — said that its initial supply of doses will be smaller than initially anticipated. While the company said it would have 12 million doses ready to go by the end of February and upwards of 100 million doses by the end of June, production is reportedly two months behind schedule.
There is, however, some good news on the vaccine front. Pfizer earlier this month said that it will deliver 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses to the US by May, two months earlier than the company initially projected.
Additionally, vaccine distribution across the country has improved dramatically over the past few weeks. As it stands now, the U.S. is vaccinating an average of 1.6 million Americans per day. There have even been a handful of days where more than 2 million vaccine doses were administered.
According to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, the U.S. has administered 59 million doses and nearly 42 million Americans have received at least one dose. The total COVID-19 vaccine supply in the U.S. is about 73.4 million, which is to say that the US currently has 14.4 million doses left to administer until new shipments of COVID-19 vaccines are delivered.