PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Public health officials complained for months about not having enough support or money to get COVID-19 vaccines quickly into arms.

Now the slower-than-expected start to the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history is proving them right.

State and local public health departments across the U.S. cite a variety of obstacles, most notably a lack of leadership from the federal government.

Many officials worry that they are losing precious time at the height of the pandemic, and the delays could cost lives.

Among other complaints, states lament a lack of clarity on how many doses they will receive and when.

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