Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said Thursday the US effort to rollout COVID-19 vaccines to Americans has so far been lackluster.
About 12.4 million doses of the vaccines have been distributed to states while just 2.8 million people have received the first of two doses of the vaccine, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is far short of the 20 million President Donald Trump's team had hoped would have been administered by year's end.
"Obviously, it didn't happen, and that's disappointing," Fauci, who sits on Trump's coronavirus task force, said during an interview on the Today television program.
"Hopefully as you get into the first couple of weeks in January the gaining of momentum will get us to the point where we want to be. But there really has to be a lot more effort in the sense of resources for locals," he said. "There really has to be a lot more effort in the sense of resources for the locals -- namely, the states, the cities, the counties -- the places where the vaccine is actually going into the arms of individuals."
The US is currently in the midst of distributing two vaccines -- one from Pfizer-BioNTech and another from Moderna -- as it grapples with record numbers of COVID-related deaths and cases. On Tuesday 3,744 people lost their lives to the disease while roughly 229,000 others were confirmed to be infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
During the course of the pandemic, over 19.8 million people have contracted the novel coronavirus in the US while 343,818 individuals have lost their lives.