States Appeal for More Vaccine Doses as The US Covid-19 Death Toll Tops 400k
By Staff, Agencies
As American state leaders clamored for more Covid-19 vaccine doses, Joe Biden became President on Wednesday with an eye toward changing approaches to the pandemic that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the US.
Some state officials say they aren't seeing as many doses as the federal government reports distributing and the demand for the vaccine is outpacing the supply. Georgia, for example, reports adequate staff, volunteers and infrastructure but not enough doses.
"We've been getting about 80,000 doses a week, and that's not much for a state with 11 million people," Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said Tuesday.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the new director of the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] and Prevention, said the agency is conducting a comprehensive review of all existing Covid-19 guidance. "The toll that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on America is truly heartbreaking," she said.
Biden took office just a day after the country surpassed 400,000 recorded deaths for the pandemic.
Across the country, hospitalizations and daily new cases and deaths have been dipping, though experts have warned that more-transmissible virus variants, including one first seen in the UK, could send cases surging again.
The nation averaged 250,052 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week as of Tuesday, down 19% from the previous week but still nearly three times the country's peak average last summer, Johns Hopkins University data showed.
The US has averaged 2,989 deaths a day over the past week, down 10% from the week prior, according to Johns Hopkins data.
An ensemble forecast published by the CDC projects there will be as many 508,000 Covid-19 deaths by February 13. Its last forecast, published January 13, forecast as many as 477,000 deaths by February 6.