The top U.S. infectious diseases specialist said the backlog of coronavirus vaccinations from last week’s severe weather should be mopped up by midweek.
The pace of vaccinations dipped over the past week as freezing weather gridlocked much of the southern U.S. and in some cases prevented the movement of supplies.
“The number was 6 million doses delayed,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” one of three interviews he did on Sunday talk shows.
“When you just, you know, put your foot to the accelerator and really push, we’ll get it up to where we need to be by the middle of the week.”
Fauci also said on Sunday that it is possible Americans will still be wearing masks in 2022, but that measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 would be increasingly relaxed as more vaccines are administered. He made those comments on CNN.
Fauci spoke as the U.S. stands on the verge of a milestone few imagined when the first coronavirus cases were diagnosed a year ago: 500,000 deaths. That level will probably be reached Sunday or Monday.
“It’s something that is stunning when you look at