Perhaps you’ve been wondering where the vaccine is and how much is on the way. We’d know more if the previous administration hadn’t displayed an extraordinary combination of malevolence and incompetence. The good news is that we’ll know more soon. From The Guardian:
The Biden administration has spent its first week in office attempting to manually track down 20m vaccine doses in the pipeline between federal distribution and administration at clinic sites, when a dose finally reaches a patient’s arm.
The Trump administration’s strategy pushed the response to the coronavirus pandemic to individual states and omitted pipeline tracking information between distribution and when the shot is actually administered, Biden administration officials told Politico.
The lack of data has now forced federal health department officials to spend hours on the phone tracking down vaccine shipments, the news website reported.
“Nobody had a complete picture,” Dr Julie Morita, a member of the Biden transition team and executive vice-president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told Politico. “The plans that were being made were being made with the assumption that more information would be available and be revealed once they got into the White House.”
As of Saturday, 49 million doses of vaccine have been distributed by the federal government, but only 27 million administered by states, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About two million of those doses are believed to be accounted for by a 72-hour lag in reported administration, Politico reported. That still leaves millions in the pipeline between delivery and patient. At least 16 states have used less than half the vaccine doses distributed to them, USA Today reported this week.
“Much of our work over the next week is going to make sure that we can tighten up the timelines to understand where in the pipeline the vaccine actually is and when exactly it is administered,” Dr Rochelle Walensky, [the new] director of the CDC, told USA Today.
. . . The CDC’s first report on early vaccine rollout is expected in February.