- U.S. President-elect Joe Biden says it could take years for Americans to receive COVID-19 vaccines at the current rate of distribution
- Speaking from his home state of Delaware on Tuesday, Biden said vaccine efforts so far had fallen behind
- According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, two million of an anticipated 20 million vaccines have been administered so far
- The President-elect intends to enact the Defense Production Act to speed up domestic distribution of the vaccine and associated protective equipment
- Last week, Biden also vowed to deliver 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office
- COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. have peaked at over 300,000 according to John Hopkins University
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden says it could take years for Americans to receive COVID vaccines at the current rate of distribution.
Biden has criticised the Trump administration’s current vaccine rollout efforts, which he says have vaccinated only two million Americans so far out of an anticipated 20 million.
“The Trump administration’s plan to deliver vaccines is falling behind, far behind,” Biden explained at a briefing in his home state of Delaware on Tuesday.
“This is going to be the greatest operational challenge we have ever faced as a nation, but we’re going to get it done.”
“If it continues it’s going to take years, not months to vaccinate the American people,” he warned.
The President-elect also spoke of methods to access those in hard to reach communities, saying that mobile units would be sent to help establish vaccination sites.
Biden also declared he intends to enact the Defense Production Act of 1950 to hasten and expand the domestic supply of materials and services relating to the vaccine.
In an interview with CNN this month, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar estimated 20 million Americans could be vaccinated within the next several weeks.
Efforts of this claim appear to have fallen short, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximating 2.1 million people have received the first doses of the two-course vaccination as of December 28.
Biden has vowed to vaccinate 100 million Americans within the first 100 days of his administration, giving him roughly until the end of April 2021 to deliver his promise should he be inaugurated as planned on January 20.
In concurrent news, Vice President-elect Harris received the vaccine on live television, following in the footsteps of Biden just over a week earlier.
Today I got the COVID-19 vaccine. I am incredibly grateful to our frontline health care workers, scientists, and researchers who made this moment possible.— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 29, 2020
When you’re able to take the vaccine, get it. This is about saving lives. pic.twitter.com/T5G14LtFJs
A total of 15 million vaccinations are expected to reach the U.S. by the end of this month according to Federal officials.
The number of fatalities in the U.S. from COVID-19 total 338,561, according to John Hopkins University.