First Covid-19 vaccine shipments will fail


With emergency clearance for the Pfizer vaccine expected later this month, and possibly the Moderna vaccine as well, states are learning that it is not enough for them to fully immunize those designated as their first and main priority.

Earlier this week, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the very first group of Americans to get vaccinated be frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. such as retirement homes. Together, they total approximately 24 million people.

Federal officials estimate that around 40 million vaccines will be available by the end of the month if Moderna and Pfizer get clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – just enough to vaccinate 20 million people, as two doses are needed for each person.

But even that number will be insufficient. Pfizer is only expected to have 6.4 million doses of the vaccine by mid-December.

CNN’s analysis of state breakdowns of what they plan to receive shows all will be below what they would need to fully immunize healthcare workers and long-term care residents. CNN was able to confirm the expected size of the first vaccine shipment for at least 45 states.

Now states must decide how they will ration vaccine among their priority groups and how the small first tranche affects the immunization schedule of downstream groups. Some states are already obligated to triage – choosing health workers is a higher priority than others.

California must first vaccinate 2.4 million healthcare workers, and Gov. Gavin Newsom said earlier this week that the state is only receiving 327,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to begin with.

Since this only covers a fraction of the healthcare workers needed to get vaccinated, Newsom said on Thursday that the state would further narrow its list of priority healthcare worker groups to decide who gets vaccinated first. .

Health workers and residents of long-term care facilities should receive Covid-19 vaccine first, CDC vaccine advisers sayHealth workers and residents of long-term care facilities should receive Covid-19 vaccine first, CDC vaccine advisers say

“It’s one thing when you hear the national news about, well, we all agree that our skilled healthcare workers and nursing and assisted living facilities should be a priority, but this is one thing. it’s millions and millions of people. When you only have a few hundred thousand doses of the vaccine – doses, you need two doses – you can cut that to half of the total number of people who will actually be fully immunized. We have to consider prioritizing these doses, and we’re doing just that, ”Newsom said Thursday.

The Covid-19 vaccine in California will now go to acute care facilities, nursing homes, dialysis centers and first responders first before going to groups like home health workers.

Alabama is receiving much less Pfizer vaccine than it was promised in the initial shipment. Instead of their first shipment of 112,000 doses of Pfizer, the state will receive 40,950 doses, according to Karen Landers, head of the Alabama Department of Public Health. The state has designated 300,000 health workers and 22,000 residents of long-term care facilities as priority groups for immunization.

The first shipments of Pfizer vaccine will be delivered on December 15The first shipments of Pfizer vaccine will be delivered on December 15

“The Alabama Department of Public Health will track its Covid-19 vaccine Phase 1a allocation and, if necessary, ask providers to subcategorize people in Phase 1a based on supply,” said Landers on CNN. “For example, healthcare workers who work in emergency rooms, Covid-19 units, have underlying health issues, or other factors, may receive the initial vaccines. ”

Montana only receives about 9,750 doses of Pfizer vaccine from the first shipment when it has more than 40,000 health workers to vaccinate before moving on to the rest of the state’s population.

“We will probably receive several thousand subsequent doses in the coming weeks,” Gov. Steve Bullock said at a press conference earlier this week.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said his state will receive 170,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine on December 15. The state’s highest priority groups include 85,000 nursing home residents and 130,000 nursing home workers.

For some states, the difference between the amount of vaccine they expect to receive and the number of people labeled as the state’s highest priority is not that far.

In Texas, the state expects 224,250 doses of the Pfizer vaccine the week of December 14, but will end up with 1.4 million doses by combining shipments from Pfizer and Moderna by the end of December. The state estimated it needed to vaccinate 1.6 million health workers to complete its first phase of the process.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice gave more details in his announcement on Friday about what the state will receive by sharing not only the initial shipment but also the order cap for each week. Justice said West Virginia is expected to receive 60,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine on Dec. 15 and 26,000 from Moderna the following week. The state can order up to 16,000 new doses from Pfizer per week and up to about 5,000 from Moderna each week.

The state said its first priority group was around 100,000 healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, people critical to community infrastructure and emergency response, officials said. public health and first responders.

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