- The rollout of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna isn’t going as quickly as health experts were hoping.
- The initial objective was to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of January, a goal that the U.S. will likely not be able to meet.
- To date, the coronavirus vaccine has been administered to 9.27 million Americans.
The rollout of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna is unfortunately off to a slow start. Due to a number of distribution inefficiencies and bureaucratic red tape, the U.S. to date has only administered around 9.27 million vaccine doses. As a point of reference, the U.S. was hoping to vaccinate upwards of 20 million Americans by the end of January, a goal that doesn’t seem likely at this point.
There are a few reasons why the vaccine rollout has been slower than anticipated. For starters, the Trump administration a few months ago balked at an opportunity to lock in 100 million vaccine doses from Pfizer. This, naturally, impacted the volume of doses available from the get-go. There have also been some logistical issues. In some instances, vials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have been left sitting in warehouses waiting for instructions on where to ship them. What’s more, the strategies some states are implementing with respect to the vaccine are creating bottlenecks with respect to widespread distribution.
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Take New York, for example. There, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s distribution plan calls for astronomical fines for hospitals that vaccinate people out of order. This plan, however, creates an issue when hospitals have vaccines that are poised to expire with no one from a designated group around to receive them.
In New York, most individuals over 65 are still not eligible to receive the vaccine—and won’t be until the state graduates to Phase Three of its plan—which partially explains the sluggish rollout. That prioritization, or lack thereof, inspired backlash from politicians and armchair pundits alike, many of whom argued that the elderly should have been first in line to receive the vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a recent interview with ABC, articulated that New York’s strategy is a mistake and that we need to administer the vaccine to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
“If you can’t get to the people in the first group go to the people in the second group and start doing them,” Fauci said. “I think if we do that, we’ll start getting more vaccine into the arms of people.
“Not to mention, Fauci added, “we have people who are in the last group, who we have seen are out and about and not taking all the precautions. So if we could get them vaccinated wouldn’t it help all of us?”
Fauci went on to say that it’s important to avoid situations where vaccines are simply left sitting in freezers when there are plenty of people who would line up quickly to get them.
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