Fauci calls COVID-19 vaccine rollout 'disappointing'

Fauci calls COVID-19 vaccine rollout 'disappointing'

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: CDC signs off on 'mix and match' vaccine boosters Fauci says it's recommended to get same vaccine for COVID-19 boosters The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat MORE, the nation's leading infectious diseases expert, on Thursday said the coronavirus vaccine rollout hasn't gone as he expected.

"We would have liked to have seen it run smoothly and have 20 million doses into people today by the end of the 2020, which was the projection," Fauci said during an appearance on "Today." "Obviously, it didn't happen, and that's disappointing."

The Trump administration had touted a goal of getting 20 million people a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year. But the actual number will fall far short of that mark.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID data tracker, about 2.8 million people have received their first vaccine dose as of Thursday.

Fauci said he hopes vaccine distribution will increase in January but that local municipalities will need support in order for that to happen.

"There really has to be a lot more effort in the sense of resources for the locals, namely, the states, the cities, the counties, the places where the vaccine is actually going into the arms of individuals," he said.

Despite increasing case numbers and a new, more contagious coronavirus strain recently being found in the U.S., Fauci shared an optimistic message about the future. 

"The good news is that science has and will come to the rescue getting us vaccines," he said. "More than one vaccine, hopefully five, six, seven or more vaccines throughout the world, that will get us out of this and put this in the rear-view mirror, behind us."