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US misses goal of vaccinating 20 million against COVID by year end

President Trump at the Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit. (Shealah Craighead/White House)

The US goal of getting initial COVID vaccine doses to 20 million Americans by year’s end was looking like a long shot Tuesday.

The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed initially promised to unleash a vast stockpile of 300 million vaccine doses by January but later slashed its target and said it hoped to get about 40 million doses to recipients by the end of the year.

But the CDC reported Tuesday that only 11.45 million doses had been distributed since Dec. 13 with only about 2.1 million doses actually administered.

“We certainly are not at the numbers that we wanted to be at the end of December, (where) you heard about 40 million doses for 20 million people,” White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN’s “New Day” on Tuesday.

“Even if 2 million is an under count, how much under count could it be? So we are below where we want to be,” Fauci said.

“I believe that as we get into January, we are going to see an increase in the momentum,” Fauci said. “I hope (that) allows us to catch up to the projected pace that we had spoken of a month or two ago when we were talking about the planned roll-out of the vaccinations.”

He said Army General Gustave Perna, the COO of Operation Warp Speed, deserved credit for publicly apologizing 10 days ago about any “miscommunication” related to forecasts and subsequent reductions in allocations to states.

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