Administration of the COVID-19 Vaccines is Going at a Much Slower Pace than Projected

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Lucy McIntire

Vaccines for COVID-19 have finally been developed and approved since the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic in March. The plan for distribution was to roll out vaccines as quickly as possible, prioritizing healthcare workers and those at a greater risk. The goal set by the federal government was to vaccinate 20 million people by the start of the new year. However, only 2.8 million doses have actually been administered by that time.

As of January 4th, 4.2 million Americans have received the first dose of the vaccine. Still this rate of vaccination is not fast enough, and experts are looking into ways to speed it up, as well as an explanation for delays.

There are several possibilities as to why the vaccine administration is lagging so much, including the time of year. People are off work during the holidays and clinics have shortened hours, which could lead to delays in administration of the vaccine.  Also, hospitals are short-staffed as it is, and finding personnel to both care for patients and administer the vaccine has been challenging.

Another issue is the federal government is laying all the work of actually administering the doses on overwhelmed state governments. It has been pointed out that the most difficult part of delivering the vaccine from production into people, is administering the vaccine.

Hopefully the slow pace at which the vaccine is being delivered will increase rapidly. A relief package was also signed recently, and the money set aside to aid with vaccine distribution will hopefully accomplish this.

President-elect Joe Biden has also made a plan to administer 100 million doses in his first 100 days in office, an achievable goal, experts say. However, to actually accomplish this, things will have to change and distribution and administration will have to speed up.