Like Winter storms The White House threatened to cancel distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, he said on Tuesday that states will collectively begin receiving 13.5 million doses each week – a jump of more than 2 million doses due in part to a shift in the way the government allocates doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Jane Psaki, the White House press secretary, said New federal pharmacy program You will now provide 2 million doses per week, double the initial supply.
The increases were welcome developments for state officials who were desperate to vaccinate the most vulnerable Americans before. More infectious variants Of the virus dominant.
The Biden administration is working with Pfizer, the manufacturer of one federally authorized vaccine, to obtain more of the company’s manufacturing supplies, including pumps and filtration units, through Defensive Production Law. The administration announced last week that Pfizer and Moderna, the other manufacturer of the authorized vaccine in the US, will be able to deliver a total of 400 million doses by the end of May, well ahead of schedule.
A White House spokesperson said the latest supply increase came in part because Pfizer, as of this week, is getting six doses instead of five per vial. The spokesman said two-thirds of the increase was due to increased production. Officials now say there is a sufficient supply of specialized syringes needed to extract the extra Pfizer dose. The White House warned state officials last week that due to this accounting change, the number of doses that the federal government said it had provided would increase, even if the amount of vaccine in each vial was not the same.
Ms Psaki told reporters on Tuesday that with the latest increase, vaccine deliveries have jumped 57 percent since President Biden was inaugurated. Management officials are accustomed to framing these increases as Mr. Biden’s achievement, although supplies are expected, at least to some degree, to grow as manufacturing companies Pfizer and Moderna intensify.
The announcement on Tuesday came as winter storms in the south continued to disrupt vaccine distribution. Clinics have closed and shipments have stopped in states where the pace of vaccination was already taking place Have fallen behind National average. Vaccine appointments have been rescheduled or canceled From Texas to me Kentucky.
A spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that the government expects “widespread delays” in vaccine shipments and deliveries in the coming days, as weather affects the FedEx facility in Memphis and the UPS facility in Louisville, both of which ship vaccines hubs.
“The CDC and federal partners are working closely with judicial authorities, as well as manufacturing and shipping partners, to assess weather conditions and help mitigate potential delays in delivery and cancellations,” the spokeswoman said.
Ms Psaki said officials were monitoring the storms and communicating with state and local governments. She said there is “an emergency plan to ensure people get the doses they need on an appropriate schedule.”
The increase in drugstore doses announced on Tuesday came after White House officials warned that supplies for this program would be very limited initially. It is expected that more than 40,000 pharmacies will receive doses as part of the program.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the chief infectious disease expert and advisor to Mr. Biden, made his own estimates from last week, when he predicted the start of an “open season” by April. “This schedule will likely be extended, perhaps in mid to late May and early June,” he said. Interview with CNN.
Campbell Robertson contributed to the reporting.