“We’ll be opening more vaccination sites soon:” surgeon general Murthy

iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-

As the worst-hit country in the world with the coronavirus, Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the new Biden administration, has a lot of work cut out for him.

Depending on the speed of his progress in stopping the spread is going to be the key element for Biden to really bring the American economy back to its feet.

“We cannot take a year in order to get to the critical levels of vaccination that we need in this country… We’ve got to get there sooner,” Murthy told CNN.

According to their plan, in the coming months, they will be doubling up on the vaccination sites, leaning on partnerships with pharmacies and finding people who can help administer vaccines.

“We hear often from both local and state leaders that they’re worried about the workforce – that we may not have enough people to actually deliver the vaccine to meet the demand,” he said.

Biden has said that his administration will deliver 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office. But the incoming US Surgeon General said that the President aims to surpass his target of delivering 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office.

“Make no mistake, his goal is not only to meet that, but it’s to exceed that,” the Indian American Surgeon General said and added that Biden is taking an “even-keeled” approach, taking into account areas where things could go wrong, including the supply of vaccine, channels for distribution and vaccine hesitancy.

The US has reported over 24 million cases and over 410 deaths from the pathogen, as per Johns Hopkins University.

California is getting 400,000 to 500,000 doses in a good week and it could take four to five months just to complete vaccinations for those 65 and older, state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said in a statement during a vaccine advisory committee meeting, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Large counties have been opening up more mass vaccination sites as they struggle with unprecedented demand. Officials are pinning hopes on President Joe Biden’s promise to ramp up vaccination resources.

Los Angeles County, with a quarter of the state’s population, was straightening out problems with online and call-in systems that residents over 65 can use to make a vaccination reservation, said Barbara Ferrer, director of the county Department of Public Health.

But the real problem was supply. Ferrer said more than 70% of doses received for next week are already earmarked for second shots.

Meanwhile, California reported its second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths Wednesday but also a dip in hospitalizations below 20,000 for the first time since Dec. 27.

The total of 694 new deaths is second to the record 708 reported Jan. 8, according to the state Department of Public Health.

California this week surpassed 3 million COVID-19 cases since the outbreak began early last year. Nearly 35,000 people have died.