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Dr. Fauci said something we’ve been dying to hear about the coronavirus vaccine rollout

Published Feb 4th, 2021 9:04AM EST
Coronavirus vaccine
Image: Graeme Jennings - Pool via CNP/MEGA

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  • At the moment, the US is administering around 1.32 million coronavirus vaccine doses every day, on average.
  • That’s sort-of good news, in the sense that it represents a gradual ramping-up toward President Biden’s goal of completing 100 million coronavirus vaccinations over the first 100 days of his White House term.
  • White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, has even more good coronavirus vaccine news at the moment.

Since the massive coronavirus vaccine campaign began in the US back in mid-December, 33.7 million COVID-19 doses have been administered here — tantamount to an average of 1.32 million doses of coronavirus vaccine per day.

That’s according to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, and it reflects a gradual ramping-up of the cadence of vaccinations in the country as President Biden finishes up his second week in office. Upon his inauguration, the US was vaccinating more than 900,000 people or so a day on average, a pace that the Biden administration pledged to expand in order to hit a target of 100 million coronavirus vaccinations completed in his first 100 days in office. The current improved pace of vaccinations, though, is still a bit too slow than would be ideal, especially with the more transmissible COVID variants quickly spreading around the US — the longer people go without being vaccinated, in other words, the greater their odds of encountering these newer COVID strains.

However, there’s some good news on this front. On Tuesday, the White House announced that it’s tapping an additional cohort of retail pharmacies through which more coronavirus vaccine will be distributed. White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said the federal government will send another 1 million doses of vaccine through this distribution channel, to approximately 6,500 pharmacies next week. That will mark the start of a federal effort to deliver the COVID vaccine to a total of 40,000 pharmacies.

For another indication of the extent to which the coronavirus vaccine program has been rolled out extensively already, consider also the milestone the US reached in recent days. For the first time, the number of vaccinations that have been given has surpassed the total number of coronavirus cases in the US since the pandemic began (the latter being 26.49 million, as of the time of this writing, per Johns Hopkins University).

All of this is why White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this week, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, that people are increasingly going to see the coronavirus vaccine rollout “get better very quickly.”

“As you know, President Biden has made this his really top priority, to try to smooth all of that out with any number of mechanisms — be it making sure as we get vaccines in, we can get community vaccine centers, get them better allocated to the pharmacies, and even, in some respects, getting mobile units to go out into poorly accessible areas,” Dr. Fauci said.

For some additional context surrounding why Dr. Fauci is optimistic that things will keep ramping up considerably on this front, he also noted President Biden’s recent move to enlist FEMA and the US military to help administer vaccines, with possibly up to 10,000 active members of the US National Guard eventually deploying to vaccination sites. That will be done, according to Dr. Fauci, “to make sure that we get over these logistic problems that we have right now.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.