After months of anticipation, millions of doses of the two authorized coronavirus vaccines — made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are flowing into hospitals and health departments across the nation, putting the end of the pandemic in sight. But Americans trying to access shots are encountering systems that vary widely county to county and that, in many places, are overwhelmed.
Some counties and hospital systems launched reservation websites, only for them to quickly become booked or crash. Others announced appointments only through Facebook, with slots filling before some residents knew to look. And many have not revealed how the vaccine will be made available to anyone beyond health-care workers and long-term care residents and employees, the focus of the first round of vaccinations.
In one striking image, Florida health departments offering doses on a first-come, first-served basis saw scores of older residents bring lawn chairs and blankets and camp out overnight.
On Sunday, Moncef Slaoui, chief science adviser to Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s effort to expedite development and delivery of vaccines, mostly deflected questions about the lag in administering shots, saying on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that his team is available for requests from states for assistance.
We need to improve,” he acknowledged.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said vaccine administration was accelerating, with 1.5 million doses given in two days. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Adams said Sunday he’s “still optimistic” about the national outlook for defeating the virus, even as only 4 million of the 14 million doses delivered to states have been administered, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.
Federal officials had estimated 20 million doses of the coveted vaccine would be delivered and administered by the end of 2020. Adams pointed to a strain on resources brought on by the nationwide surge in covid-19 cases and by the holidays as possible causes of the slower-than-expected rollout, while President Trump has blamed states.
“I’m telling you that things are changing,” Adams said, adding that the administration’s coronavirus task force is “working every single day to figure out how we can help the states.” (Source: washingtonpost.com)