Concerns on COVID-19 variant and vaccine administration

Jan. 4, 2021

As reports about US cases of the COVID-19 UK variant grow, mounting frustration over the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination administration and the third wave of coronavirus infections continues to rise and hospitals in California are struggling to keep up with the number of COVID-19 patients according to reports from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP). 

The US reported 210,479 new COVID-19 cases today, according to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The nation's total number of cases has climbed to 20,640,212, with over 351,000 deaths. Global cases are now over 85 million. There have now been more than 71,000 COVID-19 deaths in December, the deadliest month of the pandemic. 

At a press briefing in Washington, DC, Operation Warp Speed officials answered questions about COVID-19 vaccine administration, which has been slower than anticipated. The most recent data from the CDC COVID Data Tracker show that more than 12.4 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and vaccine have been distributed, but only 2.5 million doses have been administered.

While Operation Warp Speed chief scientific officer Moncef Slaoui, PhD, and chief operating officer Gen. Gustave Perna both acknowledged that the number of doses administered so far is smaller than hoped, Perna said a 72 to 96 hour lag in data reporting suggests that more doses have been administered than is currently reflected in the CDC data. He also cited the holidays and three recent snowstorms as possible factors that have slowed initial uptake. 

CIDRAP report

More COVID-19 coverage HERE.