Be patient with the U.S.’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, says Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Thursday that the process should be allowed to work out its kinks while in its early stages and that “hiccups were always expected.”
“That’s not an excuse, we can’t make excuses,” Fauci said on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” CNN reported. “But I think that’s something to be expected.”
The vaccine rollout has been slow, with just 5.3 million doses administered of the 17.3 million available in the U.S. as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Trump administration made promises last year of vaccinating 20 million people by Dec. 31.
Fauci said beginning the rollout during the holiday season is a big reason for the lethargic distribution.
If the situation doesn’t improve in a few weeks, changes need to take place, he said.
As of Thursday, the U.S. has reported roughly 21.4 million coronavirus cases and 363,000 related deaths, both tops globally, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker.