U.S. States Say They’re Getting Less Covid Vaccine Than Expected

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Some U.S. states say the federal government has cut their allocations of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine for next week without explanation.

Oregon’s allotment of Pfizer doses for next week was cut by 40%, Governor Kate Brown said in a tweet Thursday evening. Washington state had been expecting more than 74,000 doses of the shot for next week, but was informed by Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. vaccine-development program, that the state would receive 44,850 instead.

“This was a federal decision,” Brown wrote about her state’s cut in a separate tweet, “and I am seeking answers from the CDC about the reliability of the data we are receiving from week-to-week as Oregon builds our vaccine distribution plan.”

Operation Warp Speed has said 2 million doses of Pfizer’s shot will go out next week, on top of 2.9 million shipped this week. A second vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. was recommended by an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration Thursday. Officials said this week that 5.9 million doses of the Moderna could be allocated next week if, as expected, the FDA quickly authorizes emergency use of the vaccine.

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Before the Pfizer vaccine began to roll out this week, states reported widespread confusion and frequently changing estimates for how many doses they should expect. “We were not given an explanation as to why our allocation was reduced, and we do not currently have allocation numbers beyond next week,” Washington state said in a statement late Thursday.

Operation Warp Speed did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

“It’s a little frustrating because they’re trying to plan,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the professional group for state public health leaders. He said some supply hiccups are understandable given the complexity involved, but added that the government should be more transparent.

— With assistance by Angelica LaVito

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