Getting a window into the United States’ fight against the pandemic has often felt like trying to pry open a black box made even more difficult to understand by cagey crew members. Now, there’s a slightly more satisfying way to get a view of the battle firsthand.
The CDC has released a new section of its COVID data website that tracks vaccinations across the country.
Released Wednesday, according to CBS News, the website tracks the number of vaccines (from both Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech) that have been distributed to places like hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, as well as the actual number of people who have received a vaccination shot. You can view data at both the national and state level, and see vaccination totals as well as the rate of vaccinations per 100,000 residents. The site also breaks down that data for the pharmacy distribution program, which is managing vaccinating people in long-term care facilities.
Vaccine transparency: Imagine that!
Unfortunately, the numbers are dismal if you compare them to the government’s goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of 2020. Spoiler alert: We missed that mark big time. As of 9 a.m. ET on January 4, just 4,563,260 people had received vaccination shots. Distribution is delayed because of overburdened hospitals, underfunded state health agencies, and bureaucratic lack of clarity about who is eligible, according to the New York Times.
Still, just being able to see a hard number on the website — with each numeral representing an actual person who has received a shot — is soothing. The CDC updates the data on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 9 a.m. ET. Logging in on Monday morning and seeing a higher number than had been there Sunday night buoyed my spirits, at least.
America’s COVID guru and crush, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is also optimistic.
“What we hope is that they will be gaining momentum as we catch up with this,” Fauci told MSNBC. “There always will be bumps in the road and hiccoughs about that. We hope that that’s what this is a reflection of. And as we get into the first week or so of January, we’ll catch up quickly with that 20 million doses in the arms projection that we had. And as we get into the middle of January, February, and March, we will be on the target.”
Here’s hoping! And, now that there’s a place to keep track of it all, here’s to constantly refreshing the CDC’s website.