The coronavirus team of the Biden administration spent its initial virtual briefing on Wednesday to address vaccine distribution problems, and queries about a vaccine stockpile that top officials said didn’t exist. A senior adviser to the White House coronavirus response team, Andy Slavitt, says that it will be months before everyone who wants a coronavirus vaccine will be able to receive one.
The government is currently facing two constraining factors on COVID-19 vaccine distribution: the ability to manage vaccines once they produced and their quick-enough supply. Joe Bide, the United States President, announced on Tuesday that many U.S. adults would have access to a vaccine by the summer end. Currently, the White House is on pace to meet its goal of a hundred million vaccines in the first hundred days of Biden, Slavitt said.
The federal government is working to speed up its vaccine distribution. Moreover, the administration announced on Tuesday to increase its weekly allocation by sixteen percent. Facing criticism from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, over the available number of vaccine doses, Slavitt blamed the Trump administration. He also disagrees with Hogan’s point of view. Further, he adds that the administration maintains a continuous inventory of two to three days of supply that they can use to fulfill any shortage in production and ensure the deliveries as per the commitment.
New Coronavirus and contagious threats
In their final days, Trump administration officials accepted that in spite of indications that second vaccine doses held in reverse with no stockpile. The briefing also discussed the spread of more contagious COVID-19 variants, which adds stress to an already overwhelmed U.S. health care system, the CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated on Wednesday.
Walensky adds that she also knows that there are concerns about several virus variants. The officials always expected that the new variants would emerge, and they are always ready to handle them. Moreover, the recently identified variants seem to spread more easily. They are more contagious, which may lead to a greater number of cases.
On Wednesday, the briefings got off to an unexpected start with several technical difficulties. The health administration frequently touted their transparency amid the huge responsibility of getting the coronavirus pandemic under control. Whereas the virtual briefing through Zoom had several audiovisual issues. As Jeff Zients, the coronavirus chief, started the call, his audio intermittently loud.
Walensky also faced issues with her line on mute. Likewise, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, spoke for almost a minute while on mute; at that point, the audio came on, and then someone informed him about the issue, which sporadically continued with other officials through the conclusion of the briefing.
Furthermore, the briefing did include an updated United States COVID-19 death projection from Walensky. The collective projection now forecasts there will be 479000 to 514000 mortalities by 20th February. Contrary to some individual models, the mutual forecast of CDC projection only estimates a few weeks into the future. The earlier ensemble prediction, published 20th January, projected around 508000 COVID-19 death by 13th February.