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World Insights: Disruptions of vaccine supply, distribution in U.S. raise public concerns
From:Xinhua  |  2021-01-31 16:40

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BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- In an increasingly fierce fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. citizens are pinning their hopes on vaccines to let life slowly return to normal.

However, during a vaccination campaign disrupted by supply and distribution problems, the widening gap between the bleak reality and the once-promising plan has concerned and disappointed the U.S. public.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues wreaking havoc in the United States, vaccines are considered by many Americans as the most effective weapon against the coronavirus .

As of Sunday morning, 26,065,678 cases have been reported in the United States, with a death toll surpassing 430,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.

To flatten the curve, in May 2020, the U.S. government announced Operation Warp Speed to facilitate and accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, which was later described by The New York Times as "an astonishing failure" for missing its target.

"Operation Warp Speed has failed to come anywhere close to its original goal of vaccinating 20 million people against the coronavirus by the end of 2020," said a New York Times editorial.

Only about 2.8 million Americans had received a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020, far short of the government's planned target, according to a Reuters report.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled his national strategy for controlling the virus, which starts with a national vaccination campaign aiming to administer 100 million doses of two-stage coronavirus vaccines within 100 days.

The Biden administration is trying to "figure out exactly what's holding up the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout, searching for any hiccups in the manufacturing processes, suppliers and distribution networks," CNBC quoted Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as saying.

As of Saturday, nearly 50 million doses of the vaccine have been distributed to states in the country, but only around 29 million have actually been administered, according to data provided by the CDC.

The disruptions in vaccine supply and distribution in the United States are noticeable, but there is no easy solution to the underlying problems, which have led to growing discontent among the public.

The major goal of the U.S. vaccine campaign, as health experts have suggested, is to get shots into the arms of the right people.

However, the long-standing dysfunction of the U.S. political system has turned such an easy task into a daunting challenge.

The federal government is only responsible for shipping the vaccine doses to states across the country, with states establishing their own distribution plans.

"It has been up to local health departments, hospitals and other providers to actually manage the tangle of logistics and many have been unable to do so effectively," said a report by The Wall Street Journal, adding that "the result is an erratic and disjointed process that is causing frustration and confusion around the country." Enditem