Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease specialist, has told Newsweek he believes President-elect Joe Biden will fulfill his promise to get 100 million COVID vaccines administered in his first 100 days in office. His forecast comes amid a slower than expected vaccine roll-out in the U.S.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and incoming chief medical advisor to the Biden administration, said: “I think that’s possible, it’s very possible to do that. I think you’ve got to be careful about judging the long-range by what’s happened in the first couple of weeks.”
Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s effort to develop and distribute COVID treatments and vaccines, aims to deliver 300 million COVID vaccine doses. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna last December, Health Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration hoped to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of December 2020, then 50 million by the end of January.
As of Tuesday, 17 million doses had been distributed and 4.8 million people had received their first dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That amounts to more than 70 percent of doses currently going unused.