Nearly 300,000 frontline workers have received the first round of vaccinations in the past two weeks since the start of distribution across California – although the number is much lower than the 2.4 million people in the first vaccination group.
“Giving us 300,000 doses is really extraordinary,” said Newsom during a live Facebook event on Wednesday with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “But there was some frustration, a little bit of frustration – we may have overdone a little in the short term promises about vaccine availability and distribution.”
Operation Warp Speed, the federal program that oversees the distribution of vaccines to states nationwide, has distributed 14 million doses of the first round of vaccines, although the number is lower than the expected distribution of 20 million vaccines by the end of December.
US Army Gen. Gustav Perna, chief operations officer for Operation Warp Speed, said the slow deployment rate is also partly because hospitals are struggling to deliver vaccines effectively. at Florida Earlier this week, hundreds of elderly people waited in line to be vaccinated under the current first-come-first-served system.
“There is a learning curve,” Moncef El-Salawi, chief scientific advisor to Operation Warp Speed, told reporters on Wednesday.
“There were several days lost because of holidays or snowstorms,” he added.
California originally expected to receive 2.4 million doses by the end of December, but received only 1.8 million instead, according to San Francisco Chronicle.
“We know that the number of doses that arrived were produced less than what was originally announced,” Newsom said during a press briefing on Wednesday, before adding that he was not “shocked” or “disappointed”.
“At this point, I really think it’s wise for us to be more humble about where we are in our relationship with this unprecedented effort to vaccinate hundreds of millions of Americans in a very short period of time.”
California recently strengthened lockdown measures in the wake of a spike in coronavirus cases, reporting more than 27,000 new cases on Thursday, contributing to the state’s more than 2.2 million cases and 25,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.