CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says that efforts to accelerate vaccination may be hindered by supply constraints
President Joe Biden has pledged to use the Defense Production Act to boost vaccine manufacturing and to administer 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines in 100 days. However, Dr Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has cautioned that the current supply crunch is what she is most worried about, and the scale of that supply crunch is a big unknown for the agency head. This is making it more difficult for states to accurately plan, and is a problem that adds to the already massive task before the Biden administration, said experts.
Dr Walensky hinted that the reason why the federal government remains in the dark about just how much vaccine is currently available is due to a lack of data gathered under former President Donald Trump.
“I would say one of the biggest problems right now is, 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. 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,” Dr Walensky told Fox News Sunday. She added, “So if they overshoot it, then we have vaccine on the shelf. If they undershoot it, we have these queues and queues of people, people whose appointments are canceled. And, either way, we have challenges. So the fact that we don’t know today, five days into this administration, and weeks into planning, how much vaccine we have just gives you a sense of the challenges we’ve been left with.”
Two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by Pfizer-BioNtech, and another by Moderna, have so far been authorized for emergency use in the US. But vaccines have been slowly rolling out in the US and states are dealing with shortages just as new virus variants, some more contagious, have emerged. The CDC reports that 41,411,550 doses have been distributed across the US as of January 24, but only 21,848,655 doses have been administered.
Dr Walensky admitted that the US needs to move faster to immunize Americans against the coronavirus, but explained that efforts to accelerate vaccination may be hindered by supply constraints.
“I think that the supply is probably going. Brinkwire Brief News.