INDIANAPOLIS — As we inch closer to the new year, the amount of people vaccinated is far below the federal government’s goal. Operation Warp Speed created its own deadline to have COVID-19 vaccines distributed out to 20 million people by the end of 2020.
According to the CDC as of Monday morning, around 11.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses had been distributed and just over 2.1 million of those doses had actually gone into people’s arms.
Officials at the U.S. Health and Human Services and the CDC said the agency’s tallies are undercounting many vaccinations due to data lags, but even accounting for reporting delays, the U.S. vaccination program appears to be taking longer than warp speed officials projected.
The FDA’s two-day quality control requirement to assess each shipment of COVID-19 vaccines also slowed down early distribution.
Last week, Warp Speed officials said that they will have allocated 20 million doses by the end of the year, but they may not get distributed until early January.
“We do really have to ramp this up. Things are in a crisis. And we cannot get into big delays,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
According to Dr. Jha, other countries, such as Canada and Israel are moving at much faster rates and the United States needs to do the same.
“I think one part of the problem is that the federal government has thought that their responsibility ends when the vaccine gets delivered to the states. There’s a lot of work of getting the vaccine from the state into people’s arms, and we needed a clear set of plans than we’ve had on that,” said Dr. Jha.
Indiana initially received 55,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but health officials have not said how many they currently have, or how many have been administered.