Kansas City, Missouri 2020-12-17 23:24:18 –
O’Fallon, Missouri (AP) —Some states say that doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be much lower in the second week of distribution, with the potential for injections by healthcare professionals. Raises concerns about delays. caregiver.
But a senior Trump cabinet official on Thursday downplayed the risk of delays because of the semantic turmoil, and Pfizer said its production levels hadn’t changed.
The first dose in the United States took place on Monday, and hundreds of thousands of people, primarily healthcare professionals, have already been vaccinated this week. Assuming Moderna gets federal approval for the vaccine, the pace is expected to increase next week.
Efforts are being made to prevent the coronavirus, with an astonishing death toll of over 300,000 on Monday. According to Johns Hopkins University, about 2,400 people die each day in the United States, an average of more than 210,000 per day.
Recently, more than 12 state governors and health leaders have told them that the federal government has told them that next week’s shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be less than initially expected.
Little explanation was provided and many state officials were embarrassed.
“This is destructive and frustrating,” Democratic Governor Jay Inslee said on Thursday after learning from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that state quotas would be reduced by 40%. .. Plan and ensure on-site success. “
In California, where the explosion of cases is pushing the intensive care unit to the limit, it will receive 160,000 less vaccine doses than state officials expected next week. This is a reduction of about 40%.
California hospitals began vaccination this week with the first shipment of 327,000 doses of Pfizer, and expected more vaccines to arrive next week. Instead, authorities are told to expect about 233,000 doses, said Erin Melon, a spokeswoman for Governor Gavin Newsom.
Dr. Randall Williams, director of health at Missouri, said his state will be vaccinated 25% to 30% less than expected next week. According to a statement from the Iowa Public Health Service, the allocation “will be reduced by up to 30%, but we are working to get confirmation and additional details from our federal partners.”
Shipments in Michigan will decrease by about a quarter. Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and Indiana are also being told to expect fewer shipments.
In a statement, state Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak said, “The state is from the federal government to continue the large and complex process of distributing this important COVID-19 vaccine nationwide and here in Nevada. We need clear and accurate updates and information. ” After his state’s second allocation was reduced by 42% to 17,550, “reducing state allocations is devastating and embarrassing, without any explanation.”
The Hawaii Department of Health said it would delay 40% of its dose, but still expects to receive nearly 46,000 by the end of the month.
Governor Brian Kemp said Thursday that Georgia would initially expect 99,000 and then receive 60,000 doses next week. Still, the Republican governor gave little praise for vaccination efforts and did not strongly oppose the reduction in volume.
“I wish I had more, but if you look at the past history of vaccines, it could now be zero,” Kemp said.
In Washington, DC, two senior Trump cabinet officials who discussed internal plans on condition of anonymity said the state would receive the full amount, but misunderstandings about vaccination and delivery schedule changes could be causing confusion. There is sex.
One official said the first number of available doses provided to the state was an informed forecast from the manufacturer, not a fixed allocation. Officials said some state officials may have misunderstood it.
Both officials also said changes made by the federal government to the delivery schedule at the Governor’s request could contribute to the false impression that lower doses were coming. Significant changes include staggering delivery of state weekly quotas over several days to make distribution more manageable.
“They get a weekly quota, it won’t come to them in just one day,” said one source.
Pfizer has revealed that nothing has changed when it comes to production.
“Pfizer has no problems producing the COVID-19 vaccine and there are no pending or delayed shipments of the vaccine,” spokesman Eamonn Nolan said in an email. “We continue to ship orders to locations designated by the US Government.”
In a written statement, the company said this week, “We have successfully shipped all the 2.9 million doses requested by the US government to ship to designated locations, and millions more to our warehouse. I have a dose, but at this time I have not received any additional dose shipping instructions. “
A senior government official said Pfizer’s statement on the dose awaiting shipping instructions was technically accurate, but conveniently omitted the explanation. It was planned that way.
Federal officials said Pfizer had promised to provide 6.4 million doses of vaccine in the first week after approval. However, Operation Warp Speed of the Commonwealth had already planned to immediately distribute only 2.9 million of these doses. An additional 2.9 million people will be held in Pfizer’s warehouse, ensuring that individuals vaccinated in the first week will be able to receive a second vaccination later to make protection fully effective. did. Finally, the government has an additional 500,000 doses in reserve for unforeseen problems.
Pfizer said it is confident that it will be possible to administer up to 50 million doses worldwide this year and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
Alonso-Zaldivar was contributed by Washington, DC, and Rachel La Corte of Olympia, WA and Sam Metz of Carson City, Nevada contributed to this report.
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