Vaccine appointments canceled amid confusion over supply

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Growing number of COVID-19 vaccinations sites in the United States are canceling appointments due to vaccine shortages in a deployment so confusing that even the new CDC director admitted she wasn’t sure exactly how many vaccines were in the pipeline.

States were due to know their last weekly vaccine allocation on Tuesday amid complaints from governors and senior health officials about inadequate supplies and the need for faster and more reliable estimates of the amount going so they can plan accordingly. .

President Joe Biden suggested on Monday that he hopes the country could soon increase to 1.5 million doses distributed per day. Her administration also promised more openness and said she would keep news briefings three times a week on the epidemic that has killed more than 420,000 Americans.

But for now, the configuration inherited from the Trump administration has been marred by frustration, communication problems and unexplained bottlenecks, with shortages reported in some places even as vaccine doses remain on. the tablets.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, the newest director of Biden’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was herself baffled over the weekend as she tried to describe the current supplies.

“I can’t tell you how many vaccines we have,” she said “Fox News Sunday, ”describing the problem as a challenge left by the outgoing Trump administration. “And if I can’t tell you, then I can’t tell the governors, and I can’t tell the public health officials. If they don’t know how many vaccines they’re getting, not just this week, but next week and the week after, they can’t plan.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that the state could not meet growing demand from residents in part because an increase in the vaccine promised by the government had not occurred.

“We are at the mercy of what the federal government sends us and right now we are able to do it faster than what we receive,” he said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded that Florida had only administered about half of the vaccines given to it.

As of Tuesday morning, the CDC reported that just over half of the 41 million doses distributed to states had been put in people’s arms.

It is not entirely clear why others were not distributed. Some state officials have complained about a time lag between when they report their numbers to the government and when the numbers are posted on the site CDC Web.

And while some vaccines sites canceled appointments for first-dose injections, many would have large amounts of vaccine in reserve to ensure that people who have already received their first vaccine receive the required second vaccine on time, three to four weeks plus late.

Inova Health System, the largest health care provider in the Washington, DC, Virginia suburbs, said it was canceling all first-dose appointments at its mass vaccination clinics starting Thursday due to insufficient supply. Those who have already received a first dose will have their appointments honored for a second dose, he said. Inova has administered more than 70,000 injections.

In North Carolina, Greensboro-based Cone Health announced that it was canceling first-dose appointments for 10,000 people and placing them on a wait list due to supply issues. In addition, UNC Health said on Monday that the 10,000 doses it will receive this week was less than half of what it expected.

North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen said Monday that “the challenges and shortages” will persist as long as the state “receives such a small amount of …

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