Federal officials earlier this week promised Pfizer and Moderna to stop stocking a second dose of COVID-19 vaccines, and instead use them to get more people their first shots.
That statement prompted many states to open vaccine distribution this week to wider public health.
But a new Washington Post report says the government is not actually applying any vaccine for the second dose, and they have already been sent.
As a result, many states will not receive any additional vaccines in their next shipment to meet high demand.
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America’s vaccine cupboards are bare.
Federal officials – who promised on Tuesday that they are starting to release more doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the states, according to a new Washington Post bombing report – actually have no surplus to spare. .
The government said it was already stocking more than 50% of the vaccine inventory, saving enough of the second dose of COFID-19 shots of Pfizer and Moderna to ensure that those who got one shot , They can get their second storer on time no matter what. (Both Pfizer and Modern vaccines are given in two doses, administered for three or four weeks).
But, in fact, the Trump administration was already “taking a second dose straight from the construction line” as the Post reported.
Read more: How pharma giant Pfizer teamed up with a small biotech to develop the first authorized coronavirus vaccine in record time
According to the Post, the wafer-and-go strategy – the vaccine’s dose of shipping vaccines, as soon as they were being manufactured – began in December, and the same holds true for Modern’s shots since last weekend .
A failed store
After the presidential-election, Biden promised last Friday that his administration would begin releasing all available vaccine supplements next week when in office, with the Trump administration also announcing that it was key to the same plan.
The federal government also suggested that issuing higher doses in this way would allow the country to vaccinate more people. US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday recommended that every state should expand its vaccine delivery criteria to include all 65 and older, as well as younger people.
“We’ve had so much success with quality and predictable manufacturing and almost flawless delivery of the vaccine,” Azar told ABC on Tuesday. “We were withdrawing the second dose as a safety stock. We now believe that our manufacturing is sufficiently predictable to ensure that a second dose is available to people from ongoing production, so now everything is available.”
This is something that many public health experts suggest is a good idea for the time being.
“We’re in an epidemic where things are terrible,” Dr. Dean of Public Health at Brown University, Drs. Ashish Jha told Insider. “We can make some hedges that say we should withdraw some doses, but assume that our production is not going to fall completely for months and months.”
But states are already complaining that they do not have enough shots, and without more vaccines, it is unclear how their distribution could expand.
States, begging for more vaccines, stock is called empty
At least nine state governors, desperate to get more shots in their citizens’ arms, also sent a letter to Washington last week stating that “our states and residents need more vaccines right now.” “
“According to publicly reported information, the federal government is currently above 50% of the vaccine withdrawn by the administration for unknown reasons,” the letter said.
But state and federal officials who have actually been briefed on vaccine dose delivery plans now tell the Washington Post that there is no such surplus, and that the most vaccine allocation to states next week will be flat.
One notable exception is Connecticut, a state vaccinating its citizens at one of the fastest clips in the country so far. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont Tweeted on thursday Her state will be receiving 50,000 additional doses next week, “as one of the fastest states to award vaccination”.
Around 30 million vaccines were distributed, but less than 10 million went into arms
Operation War Speed said on Thursday that about 30 million vaccine doses have been distributed to the states so far. But shots in boxes are not equivalent to vaccination in weapons.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 10 million American adults have started receiving their shots, since vaccination began in mid-December.
“It’s a crisis,” Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor at the Boiler College of Medicine who is also developing a low-cost COVID-19 vaccine, the insider reported.
“Our only hope now – given how fast this virus is growing and causing 4,000 deaths per day – should we get a rate of 1 million to 2 million per day for the end of August Need to vaccinate the American people? ” , And we are not even close to that. “
The US Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to an insider’s request for comment.
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