US Expected to Miss Goal of Vaccinating 20 Million Against COVID-19 by Year End

December 30, 2020by Nancy Dillon, New York Daily News (TNS)
This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (John Cairns/University of Oxford)

The U.S. goal of getting initial COVID-19 vaccine doses to 20 million Americans by year’s end was looking like a long shot Tuesday.

The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initially promised to unleash a vast stockpile of 300 million vaccine doses by January but later slashed its target and said it hoped to get about 40 million doses to recipients by the end of the year.

But with just three days left in the year, the CDC reported Tuesday that only 11.45 million doses had been distributed since Dec. 13 with only about 2.1 million doses actually administered.

“We certainly are not at the numbers that we wanted to be at the end of December, (where) you heard about 40 million doses for 20 million people,” White House coronavirus advisEr Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday.

“Even if 2 million is an undercount, how much undercount could it be? So we are below where we want to be,” Fauci said.

“I believe that as we get into January, we are going to see an increase in the momentum,” Fauci said. “I hope (that) allows us to catch up to the projected pace that we had spoken of a month or two ago when we were talking about the planned rollout of the vaccinations.”

He said Army Gen. Gustave Perna, the COO of Operation Warp Speed, deserved credit for publicly apologizing 10 days ago about any “miscommunication” related to forecasts and subsequent reductions in allocations to states.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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