04:00 GMT19 January 2021
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    On 14 December, some Americans started receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, developed in cooperation between the US-based Pfizer and the German-based BioNTech SE companies, after it was authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration. On Friday, the FDA allowed the use of a second vaccine, by US-based Moderna.

    On Saturday, US Army General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed in charge of the distribution of coronavirus vaccines across the country, offered an apology for “miscommunication” with states regarding the number of doses planned to be delivered, as mass COVID-19 vaccination kicked off Monday.

    Perna’s apology came as governors across several US states have been concerned after they were told by the federal government that they would receive far less COVID-19 vaccine doses than what was originally allocated for their states, according to the Associated Press.

    “I want to take personal responsibility for the miscommunication,” Perna told reporters on Saturday. “I know that’s not done much these days. But I am responsible [...] This is a herculean effort and we are not perfect.”

    The general pointed out that there are no problems with the production of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the US-made jab from Moderna, which was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday, adding that he has “failed” and he is working on “fixing” that.

    “I am the one who approved forecast sheets. I’m the one who approved allocations,” Perna stated. “There is no problem with the process. There is no problem with the Pfizer vaccine. There is no problem with the Moderna vaccine.”

    Operation Warp Speed's COO also said that federal US authorities have so far distributed 2.9 million Pfizer-BioNTech doses. He added that states will receive 20 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by the first week of next month.

    Founded 15 May, Operation Warp Speed is a partnership between public and private sectors in the US initiated by the federal government to join efforts in developing, manufacturing, and distributing COVID-19 vaccines.

    As of Saturday, the United States has registered more than 17.59 million coronavirus infection cases, and at least 315,312 deaths according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University.


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