Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, speaks to Alex Azar, the unpictured Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS), before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. during an event at the NIH Clinical that Center Masur Auditorium in Bethesda, Maryland, the United States, on Tuesday, December 22, 2020. The National Institutes of Health are hosting a livestream vaccination event to kickstart the organization's efforts on behalf of their frontline workers. Photographer: Patrick Semansky / Associated Press / Bloomberg via Getty Images
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According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, was disappointing with the slower-than-expected adoption of Covid vaccines in the US.
Officials from Operation Warp Speed, President Donald Trump's vaccination program, said the country would immunize 20 million people with the first of the two Covid-19 vaccines in December. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of more than 12.4 million doses distributed, nearly 2.8 million were actually administered.
"We would have liked to see it go smoothly and have 20 million doses administered to people by the end of 2020 (year). That was the projection. Obviously it didn't and that's disappointing," Fauci said Thursday on NBCs " TODAY "show. "Hopefully the increasing momentum in the first few weeks of January will get us to where we want to be."
States and counties need more resources to speed up the pace of vaccination, Fauci said. Trump has been defending his administration's rollout for the past few days, saying it is the responsibility of states to manage the shots as soon as they are delivered by Operation Warp Speed.
Michael Pratt, a spokesperson for the program, said earlier this week that the CDC's data is likely to be incorrect due to delays in reporting.
"Operation Warp Speed remains on track to deliver approximately 40 million vaccine doses and provide 20 million primary vaccination doses by the end of December 2020. The distribution of the 20 million primary doses extends into the first week of January when states place orders they, "he said in a statement.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Pennsylvania Children's Hospital, told CNN on Thursday that the federal government had invested heavily in vaccine development but had failed to meet those efforts in terms of distribution and administration.
"With the urgency we put into making a vaccine and the money we put into making a vaccine, we spent $ 24 billion on what was essentially a Manhattan Project-style response. … That's the vaccine part, "he said. "Now comes the vaccination part that is just as difficult and will equally require this Manhattan Project-like response."
"The federal government needs to step up its response to vaccination in the same way that it stepped up its response to making the vaccine," said Offit, a voting member of the Food and Drug Administration's Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products.
Dr. Jonathan Reiner, professor of medicine and surgery at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health, calls for "mass vaccination" events. He said the government should consider converting places like polling stations, soccer stadiums and race tracks into temporary vaccination clinics.
"We have to vaccinate about 2 million people a day … versus 150,000 people a day. And I just don't see the urgency," he told CNN on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would use schools, pop-up clinics and "whatever it takes" to deliver 1 million vaccinations by the end of January. "We have to switch to mass vaccination mode and we have to do that now."