ONE in 930 Americans have been killed by Covid, but 66 percent of the shipped vaccine doses are still unused in a jab disaster.
A gutwrenching 18,400 Americans succumbed to Covid last week alone, leading the seven-day rolling average to more than 2,600 a day.
The country has now lost more than 354,000 citizens to the disease and almost 21million positive cases.
In the wake of the holiday season, hospitalizations on Monday were at 128,210, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
Also on Monday, 177,669 new cases were reported, in addition to 1,545 new deaths.
December was the deadliest month across the US with 78,000 Covid-related deaths, and health experts are warning that January's numbers might be even more grim as the country begins to deal with the consequences of mass holiday travel.
Despite the huge surge in cases and hospitalizations, only 4.66million vaccines has been administered in the last three weeks.
Federal officials had initially sent out at a whopping 15.4million doses of the jab across the United States.
This equates to only 34 percent of the vaccines being used to save American lives.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams admitted on Tuesday that distribution has been a "little bit messy."
He added, in his interview with NBC, that governors could move to the next priority group if demand is not being met.
Until now, officials had been prioritizing frontline healthworkers and nursing home residents.
The elderly and other essential workers were then the next in line.
"In many cases, (the vaccines) are sitting in freezers," Adams said. "We've been telling these states since September, we need to prioritize getting everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible while trying to adhere to the guidelines.
"If healthcare workers don't want to get these vaccines in some places… we need to move on to the (next groups).
"If the demand isn't there in 1A, go to 1B and continue on down. If the demand isn't there in one location, move those vaccines to another location."
Some states have administered more of the vaccination than others, including South Dakota at 62 percent and North Dakota at 58 percent.
Tennessee, Connecticut and Maine have all dished out half of their vaccines.
However, Kansas and Georgia have only provided their residents with 17 percent of the doses.
Dr Anthony Fauci spoke on Sunday about the vaccination roll-out.
The government had initially estimated that 20million people could receive a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine by the start of 2021, but only around 2.1million had been administered by December 31.
Fauci said that there were, naturally, some glitches in getting the vaccines shipped, distributed, stored and administered to people in the early days of the massive vaccination campaign, but the process has been running more smoothly in the past 72 hours.
"In the last 72 hours, they've gotten 1.5million doses into people's arms, which is an average of about 500,000 a day, which is much better than the beginning when it was much, much less than that," Fauci said.
"We are not where we want to be," he added. "There's no doubt about that, but I think we can get there if we really accelerate, get some momentum going."
Trump, for his part, has blamed the lag in vaccine distribution on the states.
"The vaccines are being delivered to the states by the Federal Government far faster than they can be administered," he tweeted, also on Sunday morning.
The president has received flak from many, including Republican Sen Mitt Romney, who think that the federal government needs to come up with a more concrete vaccine distribution plan to give to state and local governments.
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