By: Charlotte Baer
Just over a month ago, on December 14, 2020, the United States began administering the COVID-19 vaccine, one of the biggest vaccination campaigns in history. More than 68.1 million doses in 56 countries have been administered. The latest rate was roughly 3.44 million doses a day, on average. About 23.5 million shots have been given in the U.S. The U.S. however, had fallen very short of federal predictions, as some predictors estimating about 209 million by the end of December. The initial round has been given by hospitals and other health-care settings. The next phase will draw more on pharmacies and health clinics, places you’d more likely also get a flu vaccine. Most states will also broaden who is eligible for the vaccine. However, the issue doesn’t just lie at eligibility considering the U.S. does not currently have a large supply of the vaccine. Currently the U.S. has approved Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine with Johnson and Johnson’s in the works. J&J’s vaccine only requires one shot versus the two that both Pfizer and Moderna require. A total of seven vaccines are now available for public use, in limited quantities, in at least 56 countries. Nations have poured billions of dollars into developing new vaccine technologies, testing them on thousands of volunteers, scaling up manufacturing, and then bringing them to market in record time. None of these shots, on their own, is enough to inoculate a global population of some 7.8 billion people. But together they represent humanity’s best chance of ending this horrible pandemic.
What we can gather from the data is that the United States is behind on vaccine distribution from what the federal government predicted months ago. It can also be derived that, despite a robust and expensive vaccine development plan, the federal government was wildly unprepared for the distribution of the vaccine. However, there is hope. With more companies getting their vaccines approved and ready for rollout, there will be more supply for Americans to receive the vaccine. The number of Americans that should be vaccinated to end the virus is unknown, and currently numbers are not going down. The government needs to fund more supply of the vaccine and have a more clear and thought-out distribution plan in order to eliminate this virus in a timely manner.