States complain that demand for the Covid-19 vaccine is outpacing supply

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there'...

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 8:55 AM

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there's still a gap in the number of Covid-19 vaccines that have been distributed to states and the number of shots that have gone into arms, but as states' vaccine campaigns have picked up the pace, states complain the federal government is not sending vaccines fast enough.

So far, the US has distributed more than 31 million Covid-19 vaccines to the states, but the CDC says only about 40% have actually been given to people, according to the latest data.

But the evidence shows the percentage of people vaccinated is likely much better than what the numbers suggest.

There's lag time between when the states report their numbers to the CDC and there's an additional reporting delay with the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. For example, Michigan's website says that as of Sunday, it's given out 124,000 more doses than the CDC gives it credit for. The CDC numbers last updated Friday.

But even with that caveat, the country not only missed the Trump administration's stated goal of vaccinating 20 million people by the end of December, it still hasn't hit 20 million three weeks later.

Georgia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, according to the CDC, although Georgia's website, updated Sunday, shows that it's given out 171,000 more than what the CDC counts.

At a news conference last Tuesday, Gov. Brian Kemp said his office had received reports that some large providers were holding back supplies. He warned them to provide doses "quickly," or he'd seize them.

"If it takes me firing up my pickup truck and doing it myself, so be it," Kemp said.

Georgia residents have called his office frustrated with the rollout and the supply.

"Yes, the phone lines will be busy. Yes, the websites will certainly crash," Kemp said. "This is no doubt frustrating. I would prefer that we have ample supply, and we could vaccinate everyone immediately."

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey told the federal government that sites in her state had the capacity to vaccinate five times as many people as they are now.

"We're doing great," Piercey told CNN. "The only thing we're missing is supply."

Piercey said she has made it clear to her clinics they should hold nothing back. Their single goal, she said, should be "to run out of vaccine."

"It is wholly unethical for us to sit on it," Piercey said.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday called for the federal government to release more doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, saying that his state currently had "a very limited supply."

Last week Walz signed onto a letter with other governors that urged the US to purchase as many vaccines as possible so states could get more shots in arms in the coming weeks.

Experts said the gap between distribution and administration has been closing as more clinics come online, like the one that opened Friday at Dodger Stadium. Last Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said once it's fully operational, the clinic's staff will be able to inoculate 12,000 people a day.

"If you look at the number of doses being administered by week, they are picking up the pace considerably compared to the first couple of weeks of the vaccination program," said Dr. Kelly Moore, the deputy director of the Immunization Action Coalition, who has also run several prior vaccination campaigns. "As we have predicted, their capacity to deliver vaccines is increasing as they get accustomed to the process and work out the bugs in the system."

Michigan is using the National Guard to augment the work of local clinics and the state is vaccinating people faster, according to Tricia Foster, the chief operating officer for Michigan's Covid-19 response.

"We've jumped forward considerably in our doses in arms," Foster said.

Foster said the CDC numbers don't fully capture Michigan's effort. Like in other states, part of the state's allocation has been set aside for a long-term care vaccination program the federal government runs in Michigan. That program gets about 245,000 of the state's total doses. The federal government only reports its numbers twice a week.

Michigan, she said, wants a much bigger supply and is "ready, willing and able" to vaccinate more. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked to buy vaccine doses directly from manufacturers, beyond what the federal government has contracted for, to meet state demand.

New York also wants to buy doses directly. The state website said it has given out about 72% of its doses as of Monday. State officials think the supply could run out by week's end. Mount Sinai in New York City has temporarily suspended vaccine appointments between January 15 and 19 due to supply shortages, according to affiliate WABC.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the delays on the federal government. Cuomo said Monday he wrote to the president of Pfizer asking to buy doses directly.

"After myself and seven other governors called on the Trump Administration to release more doses, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that relief was on the way. To date, however, the federal government has not acted on that promise -- in fact, New York will received just 250,000 doses this week, 50,000 fewer than the week prior," the letter said.

Pfizer responded that it was open to collaborating with the federal government on a distribution model that "gives as many Americans as possible access to our vaccine as quickly as possible. However, before we can sell directly to state governments, HHS would need to approve that proposal based on the EUA granted to Pfizer by the FDA."

Vaccines cannot come soon enough. The incoming director the CDC, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said Sunday the country could see "some dark weeks ahead," predicting half a million deaths in the US by mid-February.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1605320

Reported Deaths: 27132
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61354910964
DuPage1039171357
Will873121089
Lake771121060
Kane65888850
Winnebago39007544
Madison38143576
St. Clair35003569
McHenry33032316
Peoria25972362
Champaign25862182
Sangamon24588271
McLean21879207
Tazewell19736326
Rock Island17806344
Kankakee16784234
Kendall15459106
LaSalle14496275
Macon14478240
Vermilion13234189
Adams12695148
DeKalb11667128
Williamson11419157
Whiteside7897176
Jackson769188
Boone760082
Coles7341112
Ogle713486
Grundy701281
Franklin686899
Clinton681498
Knox6651164
Marion6547138
Macoupin646399
Henry620474
Jefferson6060132
Effingham604382
Livingston571295
Woodford554291
Stephenson546289
Randolph529297
Monroe508199
Christian491780
Fulton487970
Morgan487296
Logan477474
Montgomery467476
Lee458156
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Perry415171
Saline409263
Fayette398956
Iroquois394673
McDonough354956
Jersey322253
Shelby311843
Douglas306636
Crawford304130
Lawrence301131
Union296747
Wayne274057
White265930
Richland262054
Hancock256334
Pike255956
Cass250928
Clark250738
Bond244024
Clay240047
Ford235256
Edgar234744
Carroll225437
Warren224960
Johnson213524
Moultrie211831
Jo Daviess206126
Washington206127
Wabash200915
Greene200739
Mason199351
Massac198144
De Witt195530
Piatt190814
Mercer190634
Cumberland178325
Menard158612
Jasper152418
Marshall134721
Hamilton128821
Brown10178
Pulaski98311
Schuyler9688
Edwards96315
Stark76827
Gallatin7435
Scott6975
Alexander67611
Henderson65114
Calhoun6442
Hardin56013
Putnam5444
Pope4815
Unassigned1882432
Out of IL40

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479