NEW YORK (Reuters) – The scattered shortage of COVID-19 vaccines continued on Saturday due to increased demand pressure, as previously inactive Americans returned for their needed second shots and scrambled millions to get their first. Were.
The supply gap, caused by the US vaccination effort coming in the second month, prompted some health care systems to suspend appointments for first-time vaccine seekers, and a New York health system to cancel existing people’s sleep.
“As eligibility increases, you simply increase demand, but we are not able to increase supply,” Northwell Health spokesman Joe Kemp told Reuters by telephone.
Northwell, New York’s largest healthcare provider, only offers appointments to get more vaccines, and only after allocating doses to those scheduled for their second shots, Kemp said.
Although supply flows have been sporadic, Northwell expects appointments to be offered in the coming week.
Both approved vaccines, one from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech and another from Moderna Inc, require a booster three to four weeks after the first shot to maximize their effectiveness against coronoviruses.
While health workers and nursing home residents and staff received first priority, eligibility for the vaccine has since widened, with some states calling it healthier for people 65 and older and for people with pre-existing conditions has opened.
In addition to New York, Vermont, Michigan, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Oregon showed signs of vaccine supply strains.
In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown said vaccinations for seniors and teachers would be delayed, while Vermont Governor Phil Scott said the state would focus exclusively on its 75-plus population due to “unexpected” federal supplies.
Scott said on Twitter, “Instead of a limited supply for a wider population, we know that we cannot vaccinate together, we believe our strategy will allow weapons to get shots faster and more efficiently.” .
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said last week that lax requirements make 7 million of New York’s 19 million residents eligible for vaccination.
New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital said Friday that it canceled vaccination appointments through Tuesday due to a “sudden change in vaccine supply”.
Another health care giant, an NYU Langone Health official, said it has indefinitely suspended new appointments because it had not received any confirmation that it would receive more vaccines.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday that while the city was increasing its vaccination capacity, supplies were still “a very palette” from 100,000 a week, which allowed it to run dry in the coming week. Kept for
De Blasio was among three dozen big-city mayors who bypassed state governments and asked them to send COVID-19 vaccine shipments directly to the Biden administration, which arrived last week.
A state spokesman, Jack Stern, blamed supply problems on the federal government, which he said would cut New York’s vaccine shipments from 50,000 doses to 250,000 in the coming week.
“The problem is that the allocation from Washington has decreased and now that we have expanded the population of those eligible people, the federal government has failed to meet the demand,” Stern said via email.
Adding to the intergovernmental tensions was a rebellion in which several governors on Friday fraudulently promised the Trump administration to distribute millions of COVID-19 vaccine supplements, which the US Secretary of Health has not accepted.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the first vaccine was administered in the United States in mid-December, approximately 12.3 million doses out of 31.2 million doses have been given. The CDC said a total of 1.6 million people, who received both doses, were included.
Since the onset of the epidemic, 23.4 million Americans have been infected with coronovirus, of which 392,153 passengers died, according to a Reuters tally.
While critically ill patients are stressing healthcare systems in parts of the country, particularly in California, the rate of hospitalization has stalled in the past two weeks and stood at 127,095 on Friday.
A widely cited model by the University of Washington estimates that January will be the deadliest month of the epidemic, claiming more than 100,000 lives.
But the newly revised model of the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that the monthly toll will decrease in April, shrinking to about 11,000 in April, as more people are vaccinated.
“As of May 1, some states may be close to herd immunity,” IHME said.
Reporting by Peter Szekli; Editing by Dan Grebler