Logistical problems at the heart of the federal government’s faltering rollout of coronavirus vaccines came into sharper view Thursday as the Trump administration fell vastly short of its goal of delivering an initial shot to 20 million people by the end of December.
On the final day of a bleak year, only about 2.8 million people had received the shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the first of two doses needed to provide immunity to the virus. Around 14 million doses had been distributed as of Wednesday, according to Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, and a total of 20 million doses have been allocated.
Though the figures are an underestimate — data collection on vaccinations has lagged — the doses administered so far represent just a small fraction of the ambitious targets outlined by officials from the administration’s Operation Warp Speed program in the fall.
“We’d have liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses in to people today, by the end of 2020, which was the projection,” Anthony S. Fauci, the government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday. “Obviously it didn’t happen, and that’s disappointing.” [Continue reading…]