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Analysis: Biden urges patience as frustration grows over vaccine supply

January 24, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 23.1%. 2 min read.

While outlining his plan to halt the spread of the coronavirus last week, President Joe Biden tempered his ever-present optimism with a dose of realism about the potent staying power of this deadly pandemic and the fact that the nation's vaccine distribution system is a long way from becoming an efficient machine.

(CNN)While outlining his plan to halt the spread of the coronavirus last week, President Joe Biden tempered his ever-present optimism with a dose of realism about the potent staying power of this deadly pandemic and the fact that the nation's vaccine distribution system is a long way from becoming an efficient machine.

In the flurry of White House activity last week, scientists and epidemiologists hailed the actions Biden took with the stroke of his pen -- which included harnessing the Defense Production Act to produce more vaccine supplies like needles, syringes and PPE; aid to states in setting up community vaccination clinics; a strong push to ensure vaccine equity in Black and Brown communities; and the promise that they will find a way to get more doses out to community pharmacies.

But at a time when thousands of Americans are still dying each day, it is still not clear how much of an impact the Biden administration can make on the biggest problem facing the nation right now -- that there simply aren't enough vaccine doses available for people who desperately want to return to some sense of normalcy.

On Saturday, the US finally hit that elusive target that the Trump administration had set for the end of last year: 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines administered, according to new data published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Once they get going into May, June, July, August, then you're going to see a sharp escalation of additional doses of this one-dose vaccine," Fauci said, adding that change would make it more likely that 70 to 85% of Americans could be vaccinated by the end of the summer.

As vaccine supply has dwindled in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, vaccination appointments are getting canceled because there are not enough doses.

In California, which hit a single-day record for deaths last week, state epidemiologist Erica Pan said during a vaccine advisory panel meeting last week that at the current pace that the state is receiving doses, it could be June before the state is able to vaccinate just the residents in the current eligibility category who are 65 and older.

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