Operation Warp Speed officials told reporters on Wednesday that the United States may begin to see a drop in mortality rates from COVID-19, particularly among the elderly, now that first aid and nursing homes are receiving the vaccine.
General Gustave Perna confirmed that 20 million doses of the vaccine will be distributed by the end of the year, with 15.5 million doses already distributed across the United States for first aid and the elderly. This does not mean that 20 million Americans can expect to receive vaccines until the new year.
USA ACHIEVES MORE THAN 1 MILLION ADMINISTRATED VACCINES
Only 1 million of the 9 million vaccines received by the states have been administered, Perna confirmed Wednesday. The seemingly slow pace was largely due to the “Herculean task” of distributing the vaccine to different counties, hospitals and facilities in need.
“It’s about accessing the vaccine as soon as it arrives and runs,” Perna told reporters. “And we feel strongly that they really created and are immunizing a lot of people.”
Officials emphasized that there is a “72-96 hour delay” in the status of the number of vaccines administered, suggesting that more than 1 million Americans have already received the first dose of the vaccine.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui maintained a hopeful tone, even when President-elect Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that our “darkest days are yet to come” in the fight against the coronavirus.
Slaoui said he believed the United States was still in the process of having 100 million immunizations by the end of March – meaning that the two rounds of doses would have been administered.
The chief scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed said that two weeks after 1 million people had received both doses of the vaccine, the United States should begin to see a drop in the death rate.
Saloui addressed recent fears after the development of new strains of the virus in Europe and Africa, telling reporters that “there is no evidence to support” that these other variants are more infectious.
He also said that while research is underway to understand allergic reactions, six in 1 million people with a reaction “do not change the safety profile of the vaccine”.
Both health officials maintained a hopeful outlook during Wednesday’s press conference, a sharp comparison with Biden’s outspoken adviser the day before.
“One thing I promise you about my leadership during this crisis: I will tell you frankly. I will tell you the truth. And here is the simple truth: our darkest days in the battle against COVID are coming from us, not behind us. “said Biden.
Biden reminded people that they need to take the virus seriously by wearing masks, distancing themselves socially and avoiding internal meetings.
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He warned that even with the distribution of the vaccine, the virus will remain a threat for some time.
“We need to prepare, to strengthen our spine,” continued the president-elect. “As frustrating as it is to listen, it will take patience, persistence and determination to overcome this virus. There will be no time to lose in taking the measures we need to reverse this crisis.”