The chief epidemiologist of the United States, Anthony Fauci, acknowledged this Sunday that there have been delays in the COVID-19 vaccination program in the country, but has assured that it will accelerate.
“I think it’s just that we are trying to start a huge vaccine program and start on the right foot. There have been a couple of technical problems and that is understandable,” he said in statements to ABC, in which he said that the important thing is to “see what happens in the next week or week and a half.”
According to the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.2 million people had received the vaccine in the US as of this Saturday, despite the fact that the authorities announced that by the end of December 20 million people would be inoculated. That means that only 20% of the expected have been vaccinated.
Improvements in vaccination during the last days
However, Fauci stressed that in the last three days, 1.5 million people have received the vaccine: “That is an average of 500,000 a day, which is much better than the first days, when it was much less.”
“We are not where we want to be, there is no doubt, but I think we can get there if we accelerate and (…) see what happens in the next weeks of January,” he added, although he pointed out that, for the good progress of the vaccination program, there must be a “royal alliance” between the federal government of the country and the local governments.
For his part, Moncef Slaoui, main adviser to the White House operation against the “Warp Speed” pandemic, has also admitted in an interview on CBS that “we must improve”, but has pointed to the lack of information and communication by the states as one of the main problems that are occurring in the distribution of vaccines.
In line with the arguments of President Donald Trump, who has blamed the states for the slowness of vaccinations, Slaoui has asked state authorities to let the federal government know where a greater number of doses are needed and has expressed that in how much receive a request they will come to support.
Administer a single dose of the vaccine
The head of “Warp Speed” has also referred to the possibility that only the first dose of the Moderna vaccine is administered in some citizens to reach the largest number of people as soon as possible, since, he has said, give half of the dose to people between 16 and 55 years old gives an “identical immune response” to the two doses.
For this reason, he said he was in talks with both the pharmaceutical company and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the reduction to a single dose in that sector of the population.
Both Fauci and Slaoui have also spoken of the new strain of the virus discovered in the United Kingdom and whose presence has already been confirmed by three states of the nation (California, Colorado and Florida), and have clarified in separate statements that although it is believed to be contagious more easily, it is not more virulent.