Pfizer said that it had “millions” of coronavirus vaccine doses sitting in a warehouse after the Trump administration blamed production issues for cuts to state allocations, The Associated Press reports.
More than a dozen states said they were informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that their allocation for next week’s shipments had been cut by up to 40%.
“This is disruptive and frustrating," said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. "We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success.”
California, Missouri, Michigan, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire and Indiana all said they were told their allocation was cut as well.
“States need clear and precise updates and information from the federal government as we continue the large and complex process of distributing this critical COVID-19 vaccine across the nation and here in Nevada," said Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. “To slash allocations for states – without any explanation whatsoever – is disruptive and baffling.”
Admin officials blame misunderstanding:
Two senior administration officials told the AP that states will still receive their full supply but “misunderstandings” and “changes to the delivery schedule may be creating confusion.”
One official said the projections provided to states were estimates, not official allocations.
The two officials said that changes to the delivery schedule requested by governors may be “contributing to a mistaken impression that fewer doses are coming.”
“They will get their weekly allocation, it just won’t come to them on one day,” one official said.
Pfizer says it is sitting on “millions of doses”:
“Pfizer has not had any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed,” spokesman Eamonn Nolan told the AP. “We are continuing to dispatch our orders to the locations specified by the U.S. government."
The company said in a statement that it “successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”
Officials told the AP that the doses were reserved for the second shot of the two-dose vaccine for people who received the first shot this week.