(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — In the ongoing race to vaccinate Americans against the raging COVID-19 pandemic, now complicated with the arrival of several new and more contagious strains, the U.S. government announced that a million vaccines will be shipped to select pharmacies next week.
Jeff Zients, White House coordinator on COVID-19, confirmed 6,500 pharmacies will be sent the vaccines on February 11.
Zeints said eligible pharmacies to receive the vaccine are Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Rite Aid, Kroger, Publix, Costco and others.
As of Tuesday, it has been confirmed that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population has received one vaccine shot.
A report from the Department of Health and Human Services finds that twenty-six million people — which is 7.8 percent of the population — were given one vaccine dose.
Again, Doctor Anthony Fauci stressed the importance of obtaining a vaccine as several alarming variants are reported daily in different states.
Speaking at the International Aids Society conference Tuesday, Fauci said, “We’re going to be doing … a full-court press on non-pharmacologic interventions [like masks] as well as getting as much vaccine out as we possibly can.”
Fauci said the nation’s aggressive vaccine stance is because the nation is in a race for time. The longer the pandemic goes unchecked, the greater chance of a new and much more deadlier mutation becomes.
“It’s a very stressful situation … when you have that much virus circulating, you’re going to get a lot of mutations, no doubt about it,” he added. “It’s almost a race of trying to suppress the level of replication before we get so many accumulation of both the South African and other mutants as well as mutants of our own.”
COVID-19 has currently infected over 26.4 million Americans and killed over 446,000, reports Johns Hopkins University.