ATLANTA—After conducting a nationwide survey of distribution chains, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed Wednesday it had traced the slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines to sweet old ladies who, with their cordial but long-winded small talk, were holding up lines across the country. “We could immediately get another 15 or 20 million doses into people’s arms if these elderly women would just keep the chatter to a minimum and move it along,” said CDC director Robert Redfield, citing an incident in which the queue at a Rochester, NY clinic ground to a halt when Marjorie Bickford, a 78-year-old retiree, yammered on and on to nurses about how there sure hadn’t been much snow this year, and some folks were saying springtime might just come early. “We understand these ladies mean well when they ask our health care professionals interminable questions about whether the hospital is always this busy and whether they like the work they do and whether they have any kids at home. But the fact is, we’ve only been able to administer about a third of our current vaccine supply, and if they don’t cut out all the jibber-jabber about how their grandson Mark is 35 and somehow still single despite having a good job and being so handsome, then hundreds of thousands more Americans will die. Clearly we made a mistake when we recommended people 75 and older be given spots at the front of the line.” At press time, CDC officials confirmed further delays in the rollout were being caused by old ladies trying to pay for the vaccine in pennies.