Dr. Fauci predicts “virtually everybody” could start getting vaccinated in April as states grapple with shortages
As vaccine demand continues to far outpace supply, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert made a stunning prediction. “By the time we get to April, that would be what I call for lack of better wording, open season. Namely, virtually everybody and anybody in any category can start to get vaccinated,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
But vaccination sites still need doses and that’s a big problem for Maryland. “We need more damn vaccines,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “We have no control whatsoever over this supply problem.”
It’s the same in Los Angeles. “It is a little bit of Hunger Games out there,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This week we only received 16,000 new doses. That is down 90,000 from the week before. That is unacceptable.”
The shortage is forcing several Los Angelesto close for two days, starting Friday. A site at the iconic Crenshaw Christian Center already ran out. The surrounding area includes some of the city’s hardest hit communities. The battle at Crenshaw Christian Center is personal — founder Frederick K.C. Price is now fighting COVID-19.
In Alabama, which ranks last in the U.S. in per capita vaccinations, all sites are now booked through April.
Irene Cozad, 70, beat colon cancer and says she is desperate for the vaccine. “I’m on the computer, checking and I don’t know how much more I can do,” she said. “Disheartening, it’s almost like where I thought there was hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Now I’m getting depressed about it.”
Some relief is on the way as the federal government started shipping vaccine doseson Thursday.
Also Thursday, President Biden stressed the need to boost vaccine supply while touring the National Institutes of Health labs where the Moderna vaccine was developed.
“It’s really turned out to be gigantic logistical issue for us,” he said. “My predecessor — I’ll be very blunt about it — did not do his job in getting ready for the massive challenge of vaccinating hundreds of millions.”
Mr. Biden announced the U.S. had just signed contracts for 100 million more doses each of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The vaccines would arrive by the end of July, he said.
How far some are willing to go to skip the line is evident in a Craigslist ad offering to drive 75-year-olds to get their vaccine. In Massachusetts, the governor announced those accompanying seniors to their vaccine appointments can also get the shot.