Madison, Wis. – With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, US health officials said they believe there will be enough for both eligible older Americans and young children seeking booster shots, for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved . Not too distant future.
The increase in demand – expected after last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots – will be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans have not been vaccinated despite lottery prizes, free food or gifts and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the average number of deaths per day has risen to more than 1,900 in recent weeks.
Federal and state health officials said current supplies and steady production of more doses could easily accommodate those seeking boosters or early vaccinations, following a disappointingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide earlier this year. To avoid rollout.
“I hope we have the level of interest in boosters … that we need more vaccines,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. “This is not where we are today. We have too many vaccines.”
Strong supplies in the US enabled President Joe Biden this week to pledge an additional 500 million of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world, doubling the United States’ global contribution. Aid groups and health organizations have urged the US and other countries to improve vaccine access in countries where even the most vulnerable have not been shot.
The challenges that the states are facing include not ordering too many doses and letting them go to waste. Several states with low vaccination rates, including Idaho and Kansas, have reported throwing away thousands of expired doses or struggling to access vaccines nearing expiration this fall.
While most vaccines can last for months on an unopened shelf, the clock starts ticking once the vial is opened. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, vaccines are only usable for six to 12 hours, depending on the manufacturer.
Moderna’s vaccines come in vials containing 11 to 15 doses. Pfizer vials hold up to six doses, and Johnson & Johnson’s holds up to five doses.
“We’re going to see more doses that go unused over time,” said Wisconsin’s health secretary, Karen Timberlake. “They come in multidose files. They don’t come in nice, neat individual single-serving packages.”
State health officials said they have tried to request only what health care providers and pharmacies need from federal supplies. Those numbers have dwindled since the vaccine became widely available in early spring.
But U.S. officials — holding out hope that some uneducated people will change their minds — are trying to keep enough vaccines in stock so that all Americans can get them.
This balancing act is difficult and could create panic around the world as the US sits on untested vaccines while many countries, such as Africa, cannot get enough vaccines.
Senior Vice President Jane Cates said, “Sitting in a country that has few resources to access vaccines, seeing people in America able to walk into a pharmacy and get that vaccine, I’m sure it’s heartbreaking.” causing pain.” Director of global health and HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Dr. Marcus Plessia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, which represents the public health agencies of all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and US territories, said officials estimate the on-hand spread of COVID-19. Dose vaccines and manufacturers’ ability to supply more will meet the needs across the country.
“I think states have tried to plan as if everyone is being offered boosters,” he said, suggesting that they follow the more narrow recommendations issued by the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. will be ready for
For example, California estimated earlier this month that it would need to deliver an additional 63 million doses by the end of 2022 — if initial shots for children under 12 were approved and boosters for all. were open.
US health officials late Thursday endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for all Americans, as well as for millions of young people who are at greater risk from the coronavirus because of health conditions or their jobs.
California, with approximately 40 million residents, has the lowest transmission rate of any state and about 70% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. This leaves about 12 million people unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.
California Health Secretary Dr. Mark Galley said the state would rely largely on pharmacies and primary care providers to give boosters to senior citizens, while some larger counties and health care groups would use mass vaccination sites.
In Pennsylvania, more than 67 percent of residents over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated. Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said health officials now have “two missions”: to persuade people to get vaccinated and to serve those eager to receive a booster or initial shot.
“Pennsylvania is going to be ready,” Beam said. “And we’re going to have the right level of vaccine and vaccinators to be able to meet that demand.”
Foodie reported from Chicago. Associated Press writer Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; and Patty Nieberg in Denver contributed.
Nieberg is a core member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on secret issues.