Only a quarter of the doses of COVID-19 vaccines distributed nationwide have been administered so far, an even smaller fraction of the 20 million vaccinations promised by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar after the medications were approved, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a tally of the information.
A Bloomberg tally shows that 12,409,050 doses of the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna have been delivered, and 3,134,531 shots have been given, reports the New York Post.
Of that number, just 7.7%, or 167,149 vaccines, have gone to people in long-term care programs such as nursing homes even though 2.2 million doses have been distributed to them, according to the CDC's data updated Wednesday morning.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, slammed the rollout on Friday, issuing a statement calling it as "incomprehensible as it is inexcusable" that comprehensive plans haven't been developed at the federal level.
He also said pharmacy giants like CVS and Walgreens, which have been tasked to distribute the vaccines, are not equipped to deal with rare and serious reactions and don't have the extra personnel available to give millions of Americans their shots.
Romney then outlined a plan, saying the government could enlist all medical professionals who are not currently delivering COVID-19 care, including veterinarians, combat medics, medical students, and others, who can be trained to administer vaccines.
"Congress has already appropriated funding for states so that these professionals can be fully compensated," he said. "Establish vaccination sites throughout the state, perhaps in every school. Make sure that a medical professional is in each school building to be able to respond to a reaction that might occur."
He also called on the government to schedule vaccinations according to priority categories and birthdates.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's "Today" Thursday it's "disappointing" that the vaccine numbers aren't where they should be, but hopefully "the gaining of momentum will get us to the point where we want to be.”
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