Jan 24, 2021 - Health

CDC director: "I can't tell you how much vaccine we have"

CDC director Rochelle Walensky, newly appointed by President Biden, told Fox News on Sunday that the administration does not know the current number of COVID vaccines available for distribution — due to a lack of data gathered by the agency under Trump — making it more difficult for states to accurately plan.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states including Texas, South Carolina, New York, and California have canceled thousands of appointments due to running low on vaccines or nearly depleting their share, the New York Times reports.

What she's saying: "I would say, one of the biggest problems right now is, I can't tell you how much vaccine we have. And if I can't tell it to you, then I can't tell it to the governors, and I can't tell it to the state health officials," she said.

  • "If they don't know how much vaccine they're getting, not just this week but next week and the week after, they can't plan. They can't figure out how many sites to roll out, they can't figure out how many vaccinators that they need, and they can't figure out how many appointments to make for the public."
  • "So, the fact that we don't know today, five days into this administration and weeks into planning, how much vaccine we have, just gives you a sense of the challenges we've been left with."

Where it stands: Biden has pledged to use the Defense Production Act to boost vaccine manufacturing and to administer 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in 100 days.

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