In other words, the pandemic is not yet showing any signs of slowing down. Rather, across the country, states are reporting an increase in numbers.
California reported more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths in just two days and hospitalizations are at record-high levels, with nearly 23,000 patients admitted with the virus.
Arizona’s top health official said Thursday that “coming out of the Christmas holiday,” the state’s Covid-19 numbers are inching upward.
And while vaccinations are now several weeks in, it will be months before they’re widespread enough to make a meaningful impact in the pandemic’s course, experts have warned.
Health officials say they ‘overpromised’ on vaccine rollout
The vaccine rollout will need a couple weeks to catch up, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday, and if that doesn’t happen, changes will need to be made.
“I think it would be fair to just observe what happens in the next couple of weeks,” he told NPR. “If we don’t catch up on what the original goal was, then we really need to make some changes about what we’re doing.”
“We just need to give a little bit slack — not a lot — but enough to say, well, we’re past the holiday season, now let’s really turn the afterburners on,” he added.
“We overpromised and underdelivered as a nation,” Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said at a Thursday briefing sponsored by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “We only got a third of what we thought we were going to get based on the initial modeling.”
“Had we just projected realistic quantities, the public wouldn’t have seen this as a shortcoming — we would have recognized it for the incredible accomplishment it was to have even this much vaccine this fast,” Stack said.
Other health leaders said states need more money and more staff in order to be able to administer the vaccines fast enough.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said states, cities and territories had been given just $340 million to build the infrastructure for vaccine…