Dr. Anthony Fauci vowed Monday evening that US Covid-19 vaccine distribution will “get better very quickly” as the Biden administration rolls out a series of measures aimed at ramping up inoculation.
“Obviously we are aware of those problems that are existing and, as you know, President (Joe) Biden has made this his really top priority to try to smooth all of that out with any number of mechanisms, be it making sure as we get vaccines in, we can get community vaccine centers, get them better allocated to the pharmacies, and even, in some respects, getting mobile units to go out into poorly accessible areas,” Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.”
“So we’re aware that there are problems out there. But as the President has said, the issue that we’re going to do is not complain about them, but try to fix them. So we admit they are there. But we will try to make them straightened out.”
More than 32 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the US, according to data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The US has a 7-day average of about 1.3 million doses administered per day.
But while the distribution pace has picked up considerably in recent weeks, the process has taken on even more urgency as new coronavirus strains spread across the country.
Biden has sought to boost US vaccinations through a series of measures, including the purchase of 200 million more vaccine doses and increased distribution to states by millions of doses.
With those additional doses, Biden said there would be enough to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans – nearly the entire US population – by the end of summer or early fall. He described efforts to combat Covid-19 as a “wartime undertaking” last week.
Additionally, the Pentagon has received a request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with Biden’s plan to boost vaccinations.
Both the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security, which FEMA is within, are in intensive discussions on how the military can help the agency, including the possibility of sending up to 10,000 troops to vaccination mega-hubs.
Fauci said Monday that mobilizing FEMA and the US military to help with vaccination distribution is part of the strategic plan that will be set into motion, “literally imminently to make sure that we get over these logistic problems that we have right now.”
In the meantime, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert urged Americans to “step to the plate” and adhere to best public health practices while the vaccination effort is underway.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said, “but it’s going to be up to us.”