Just over 1 million people in the U.S. have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Wednesday morning, a far cry from the federal government’s goal of inoculating 20 million Americans by the end of the year.
Now that two Covid-19 vaccines have been approved for emergency use, the biggest hurdle to ending the pandemic in the U.S. is getting the doses to the roughly 331 million Americans across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 1,008,025 shots had been administered as of Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET.
That’s roughly 19 million doses shy of earlier projections for December and leaves public officials a little more than a week — about 8 days — to try to close that gap. The U.S. would need to vaccinate more than 2.1 million people per day through Dec. 31 to meet its goal. Two vaccines – from Pfizer and Moderna – have been authorized for use by the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. has shipped a total of 9,465,725 doses across the nation, according to CDC data.
The CDC’s data on vaccine distribution comes from state, territorial and local public health agencies as well as five federal agencies. So there may be additional reporting lag for data from those places.
The vaccines are seen by investors and policymakers as a solution to get the U.S. economy back on track as the pandemic wreaks havoc on every state, overwhelms hospitals and upends businesses. The U.S. has the worst outbreak in the world, with more than 18.2 million cases and at least 322,849 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.