With Covid-19 hospitalizations surpassing 100,000 for 40 days in a row, officials are trying to ramp up the pace of vaccinations across the United States.
We really need to get this vaccine out more quickly, because this is really our only tool," Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday.
On Sunday, 129,229 people were in US hospitals with coronavirus, but the day marked only the sixth highest in pandemic history, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Experts have long said the best defenses against surging cases are preventative measures like masks and social distancing, as well as widespread vaccination. So far, at least 22.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been distributed and nearly 6.7 million have made their way into patients' arms.
Health officials had hoped to get 20 million people vaccinated at the start of the new year, but the administration of vaccines has undergone delays and roadblocks.
We need to acknowledge that it's not working," Gottlieb said of the vaccination plan. "We need to hit the reset and adopt a new strategy in trying to get that out to patients."
Gottlieb's warning comes just days after the US crossed a grim threshold for the first time -- reporting more than 4,000 new Covid-19 deaths in a single day on Thursday. Since the pandemic began, more than 374,000 people have died in the US and more than 22.4 million people have been infected, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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