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NationNews Barbados: Funding crisis threatens United States vaccine rollout

One-shot COVID vaccine likely in February Warp Speed leader

Roughly 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are ready for distribution, with 14 million doses having been already delivered to states across the country.

"We know it should be better", he added.

So far, 11.4 million doses have been distributed and 2.1 million people have received a vaccine, according to the CDC. The FDA must assess each shipment for quality control, which has slowed down distribution, and the CDC data is just now beginning to include the Moderna vaccine, which the FDA authorized for emergency use on December 18.

Just why delays are happening is unclear.

Perna also said the need for states to ensure they have enough vaccines on hand to distribute to their highest priority recipients, health care workers and residents of long-term health care facilities, may have encouraged them to hold on to doses rather than administer them.

"We agree that that number is lower than what we hoped for", said Moncef Slaoui, PhD, chief advisor to Operation Warp Speed, during a press briefing.

President-Elect Joe Biden has been critical of the slow pace of vaccine deployment. He plans to use the Defense Authorization Act to ramp up production of vaccine supplies.

Another 30 million doses will go out in January, Giroir said, followed by 50 million in February.

"This is going to be the greatest operational challenge we've ever faced as a nation", Biden said, "but we're going to get it done". Perna and Slaoui spoke on Wednesday during a news conference.

'I think it can be quite a game-changer, ' Slaoui said.

"The virus is becoming more fit, and we're like a deer in the headlights", Dr. Eric Topol, head of Scripps Research Translational Institute, told the AP. Five other locations are participating in clinical trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Other states, including California, Massachusetts and DE, are analyzing suspicious virus samples for the variant, Dr. Greg Armstrong, who directs genetic sequencing at the CDC, told the AP.

"There's two holidays, there's been three major snowstorms". "Come to the table, roll your sleeves up and help us".

Rival vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses separated by several weeks, which make them much more hard to administer and to reach their protective peak. However, these antigens "cannot replicate and can not cause COVID-19", the NIH said in the statement.

Perna noted it had been less than two weeks since the first Pfizer vaccine began to be distributed in the United States, and just days since the vaccine developed by Moderna started distribution.

A sufficient number of trial participants have to develop COVID-19 for J&J to assess whether there were significantly fewer cases among people who got the real vaccine, compared to the placebo. That is far fewer than the 20 million vaccinations the federal government promised for December.

Curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the rest of the world remains challenging.

More than 338,000 Americans have died from the pandemic so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.

British health officials are also taking a different approach when it comes to vaccinating people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the new coronavirus.