Only half of Covid-19 vaccines delivered to states have been used, CDC data shows. Here's one reason why

A possible explanation is emerging for why federal data shows only about half of the vaccine supply delivered in the US has been administered.The nati...

Posted: Jan 28, 2021 1:12 PM

A possible explanation is emerging for why federal data shows only about half of the vaccine supply delivered in the US has been administered.

The nation's vaccine distribution figures have baffled observers for weeks, with states claiming they need more vaccine when the data indicates they still have many doses on hand.

Health officials for President Joe Biden sought to explain on Wednesday, at least in part.

Speaking at a media briefing, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said not all vaccine that's been delivered to states is available for "inserting into people's arms."

White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients took that explanation a step further.

"Some of what the states have right now is inventory to do the very, very important second shot," Zients said. "I think it's important that when you're looking at state's inventories that you recognize that some of that inventory is being held for the very important second shot."

Walensky, when asked by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday if it is the right approach for states to hold onto Covid-19 vaccine that is intended for second doses, declined to directly answer the question.

An administration official on Wednesday told CNN states should not be holding back second doses and that is not the Biden administration's guidance.

The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines currently available for emergency use in the US require two doses. A federal dashboard tracks the nation's distribution of these vaccines. The data shows how many doses of vaccine have been delivered to each state, but it does not differentiate between first and second doses.

Consider Florida, where the federal data on Wednesday showed about 3.1 million doses had been delivered and about 1.6 million had been administered. That's roughly 50% of the doses going into arms.

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki used similar figures to suggest that Florida had a good deal of vaccine, after Florida governor Ron DeSantis claimed the state wasn't getting enough supply from the federal government and needed more.

"I will note, because we're data-first here, facts-first, they've only distributed about 50% of the vaccines they've been given in Florida," Psaki said. "So, clearly they have a good deal of the vaccine."

On Wednesday, DeSantis pushed back against those comments from the White House, explaining the federal data didn't account for vaccine earmarked for second doses.

"When the person at the White House says that Florida has all these doses, those are second doses," DeSantis said.

Other states also say part of their vaccine inventory is intended for second shots.

"When a first dose comes, you can just go ahead and give it to someone. When a second doses comes, it needs to be 21 days later for Pfizer or 28 days later for Moderna," Kristen Ehresmann, the director of Minnesota's Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division, said in an email to CNN. "So yes, we get this vaccine and then give it at the appropriate interval and it can look like we are 'sitting on doses' when that is not the case."

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has started to express the state's vaccine distribution figures in terms of first and second doses, announcing Wednesday that 96% of the state's allocated first doses have been administered, excluding the federal long-term care facility vaccination program with CVS and Walgreens.

On Tuesday, Cuomo said his state was "basically out of vaccine," but that same day New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who had also complained about being short on vaccine, said the city did have doses intended for second shots in its inventory.

"I've got a hundred thousand second doses," de Blasio told MSNBC.

De Blasio went on to say the doses were "sitting on a shelf" and "can't be used for weeks." He said President Biden should order governments across the country to take second doses in their inventory and use them right now for first doses.

"Even a first dose gives folks about 50% protection," he said.

Cuomo said on Tuesday second doses aren't being distributed as first doses due to uncertainty over how quickly additional doses of vaccine can be made.

"The fear is, until you really know what the production schedule is, if you start using the second dose as the first dose, you have to have a dramatically increased supply otherwise you're going to leave people without a second dose when their appointment is due," said Cuomo.

It's unclear how many states have an inventory of second doses, or how many states may be handling distribution of second doses differently. The White House and the Health and Human Services Department did not immediately respond to CNN's inquiries for additional details.

In Maryland, the state is not holding onto any reserve doses in its warehouses aside from doses to be administered that week, according to Charles Gischlar of the state's department of health. Gischalar says Maryland has requested the federal government automatically distribute second doses to providers who were provided with first doses.

Terre Haute
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 82°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 85°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 80°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 80°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Brazil
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 82°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Sunny and warmer to start!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

In Case You Missed It

${article.thumbnail.title}

Trace Adkins: The Way I Wanna Go Tour

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Avoid phony Amazon calls

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Social media influencer ruse

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Beware of knock-off car seats

Image

Police make arrests in deadly shooting case

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Fake change-of-address websites

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Fraudsters claim Apple iCloud breach to steal your info

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Schemes target military families

${article.thumbnail.title}

SCAM ALERT: Avoid Zoom phishing

Image

SCAM ALERT: Rental car shortage leads to phony deals

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 1389892

Reported Deaths: 25606
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook55655610470
DuPage924461322
Will769851035
Lake683971019
Kane59475808
Winnebago34146508
Madison30990526
McHenry29197295
St. Clair28377519
Peoria23461343
Champaign21118155
Sangamon19112240
McLean18559188
Tazewell17234305
Rock Island15248329
Kankakee14574216
Kendall1329099
LaSalle12791250
Macon11000211
DeKalb10132121
Vermilion10039143
Adams8727127
Williamson7619134
Whiteside7199174
Boone683778
Ogle621983
Grundy598878
Clinton578991
Coles5774100
Knox5649155
Jackson510265
Henry508170
Livingston490291
Woodford484682
Stephenson482985
Macoupin478388
Effingham476972
Franklin454378
Marion4516117
Jefferson4425122
Monroe439094
Lee419354
Randolph416587
Fulton405459
Logan398864
Morgan393782
Christian383975
Montgomery379674
Bureau378484
Fayette322855
Perry320360
Iroquois314668
McDonough291651
Jersey271752
Douglas260836
Saline260657
Lawrence241027
Shelby232838
Union228341
Crawford214525
Bond208724
Cass203727
Ford189050
Warren184749
Clark184033
Jo Daviess182624
Pike182153
Wayne181253
Hancock180931
Carroll178537
Edgar177240
Richland176940
White170626
Washington164925
Moultrie163128
De Witt157229
Mason154245
Piatt152414
Clay149943
Mercer149534
Johnson148116
Greene145234
Massac136040
Wabash135712
Cumberland130319
Menard125012
Jasper116718
Marshall108119
Hamilton84216
Schuyler7827
Brown7326
Pulaski7007
Stark64824
Edwards57712
Calhoun5312
Henderson52914
Scott4901
Putnam4863
Alexander47411
Gallatin4704
Hardin39112
Pope3304
Unassigned502433
Out of IL360

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424