As the nation begins to experience a post-Christmas surge in COVID-19 cases, a new and more contagious strain of the virus has emerged. Logistical problems are hampering vaccine distribution, and the goal of quickly reaching herd immunity for the country has begun to fade. Operation Warp Speed is experiencing transmission difficulties. All COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. are ordered through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, creating a centralized system for distribution to the states and a nationwide protocol to administer the shots. Last year, President Donald Trump said 300 million doses would be available this month as part of Operation Warp Speed, the program for quick development and approval of a vaccine to counter the coronavirus. The figure was wildly optimistic. Drug manufacturers soon reduced production estimates. Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, revised the forecast and said about 40 million doses would be on hand in January. But it now appears about 20 million doses are immediately available—just 7% of the target. Achieving herd immunity would allow the economy to reopen and civic life to return to something approaching normal, including returning to the office, going to a movie, concert,… Read full this story
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