The COVID-19 vaccine distribution process in the U.S. is moving slower than anticipated, falling short of Operation Warp Speed’s goal to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of 2020. As of December 30, 2020, 11.4 million doses were distributed, and 2.1 million people have received a vaccine. Most states have administered a fraction of the doses they’ve received.
Federal officials have said there’s an “expected lag” between delivery of doses, shots going into arms, and the data being reported to the CDC. The FDA must assess each shipment for quality control, which has slowed down distribution and the CDC data is just now beginning to include the Moderna vaccine which was approved for emergency use on December 18, 2020.
Per Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the 2.1 million number is “an underestimate,” however the U.S. won’t meet the goal of vaccinating 20 million in the next few days. So, what do we do? We wait, hurry, and wait! It is important to keep in mind that the EUA granted by the FDA requires two full doses of the vaccine to be effective. It is critical that the second dose be available 2-3 weeks after the first dose for full efficacy.
Bottom line: stay the course, stay well, mask up, and stay tuned!