CDC director says federal government does not know how much Covid vaccine the U.S. has

WASHINGTON – The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Sunday that the federal government does not know how much coronavirus vaccine the nation has, a complication that provides to the already herculean job earlier than the Biden administration.

“I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have, and if I can’t tell it to you then I can’t tell it to the governors and I can’t tell it to the state health officials,” CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky informed “Fox News Sunday.”

“If they don’t know how much vaccine they’re getting not just this week but next week and the week after they can’t plan. They can’t figure out how many sites to roll out, they can’t figure out how many vaccinators that they need, and they can’t figure out how many appointments to make for the public,” Walensky mentioned.

In a dig at the Trump administration, Walensky mentioned the lack of information of vaccine provide is indicative of “the challenges we’ve been left with.”

Read extra: Biden surgeon normal choose says U.S. racing to adapt towards new Covid strains

President Joe Biden has set a objective to manage 100 million Covid-19 vaccine photographs inside his first 100 days. The Biden administration has been repeatedly pressed on whether or not that concentrate on is bold sufficient given the severity of the pandemic.

Walensky acknowledged that the U.S. should vaccinate folks sooner, however she mentioned the nation faces provide constraints. Production will improve after the first 100 days, Walensky mentioned, and the anticipated introduction of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine may also assist ease provide issues.

“We are really hoping that we’ll have more vaccines and that will increase the pace at which we can do the vaccinations,” Walensky mentioned.

White House chief of workers Ron Klain mentioned the nation additionally faces distribution issues as a result of the Trump administration, which began the program, did not have a transparent plan.

“The process of distributing the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals, out into the community as a whole did not really exist when we came into the White House,” Klain informed MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

“So, the process of getting that vaccine into arms, that’s the hard process, that’s where we are behind as a country and that’s where we are focused in the Biden administration on getting that ramped up,” he added.

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who served in the Trump administration, mentioned Sunday the Biden goal of 100 million doses in 100 days is not a last quantity.

“It is really a floor and not a ceiling,” Fauci informed CBS’ “Face The Nation”. “It is going to be a challenge. I think it was a reasonable goal that was set. We always want to do better than the goal that you’ve set.”

Those 100 million injections will cowl about 67 million folks, Fauci mentioned, a few of whom may have acquired the required two doses whereas others may have acquired just one dose. So far, the U.S. has administered almost 22 million doses, far under federal targets.

The have to vaccinate as many individuals as doable has taken on new urgency as the coronavirus mutates. Fauci mentioned the Covid-19 vaccines presently on the market could not be as efficient towards new strains.

Biden’s surgeon normal choose pressured on Sunday the U.S. is in a race to adapt towards the new variants.

“The virus is basically telling us that it’s going to continue to change and we’ve got to be ready for it,” Dr. Vivek Murthy mentioned throughout an interview with ABC News’ “This Week.”

“So the bottom line is, we’re in a race against these variants, the virus is going to change and it’s up to us to adapt and to make sure that we’re staying ahead,” Murthy mentioned.

When requested if the U.S. is in a race towards time earlier than a Covid variant emerges that renders the vaccines ineffective, Walensky mentioned Americans have to get inoculated after they have the alternative and cling to mitigation methods to disclaim the virus alternative to flow into.

“I would say we’ve been in a race all along,” Walensky mentioned. “The more virus that is out there, the more virus that is replicating, the more likely that we are going to have mutations and variants.”

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