The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the Covid-19 vaccine would not be widely available by late February as the Trump administration previously said.
The new administration is determined to meet the goal of 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in 100 days, Dr. Rochelle Walensky told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “TODAY” show.
But the shots won’t be available for just anyone in pharmacies, like the flu vaccine is, by late February, as former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told Guthrie last month.
“We are going to, as part of our plan, put the vaccine in pharmacies. Will it be in every pharmacy in this country by that timeline? I don’t think so,” Walensky said. “I don’t think late February, we’re going to have vaccine in every pharmacy in this country.”
“After 100 days, there are still a lot of Americans who need vaccine, so we have our pedal to the metal to make sure that we can get as much vaccine out there,” Walensky said.
She said the work to meet the 100-day goal “had already begun” and the main points of the plan are to make sure vaccine eligibility meets supply, that there are enough vaccinators and that vaccine sites are “diverse so that we can get to all people.”
Walensky, an infectious diseases specialist at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, was sworn in Wednesday when the U.S. reported 4,131 coronavirus-related deaths, setting a record for the most COVID-19 deaths recorded in a single day.