Show an ad over header. AMP

States say federal government cutting COVID-19 vaccine allocations

Officials in several states have said the federal government told them to expect fewer doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine next week than originally anticipated.

The big picture: Some2.9 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were shipped this week as the U.S. started it's largest vaccination campaign in the nation's history. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Wednesday that 2 million more doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 5.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine could be allocated next week, per CNBC.


  • A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday recommended the approval of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use. The vaccine could get emergency authorization as soon as Friday, per the New York Times.

What they're saying:

  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) tweeted Thursday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "has informed us that WA’s vaccine allocation will be cut by 40 percent next week — and that all states are seeing similar cuts."
  • "This is disruptive and frustrating. We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success. No explanation was given," Inslee added.
  • Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said Wednesday that per "the direction of Operation Warp Speed’s General Perna, that estimate was tightened significantly down to 4.3 million doses shipped nationally next week. The following week, originally projected for another 8.8 million, is also now also scheduled to be 4.3 million," NBC 5Chicago reported.
  • “I now no longer believe projections that are put in front of us by the federal government,” Pritzker added. “Having said that, we’re hopeful that they’re accurate."
  • A spokesperson for Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services told Axios that the state is expected to received fewer doses next week than it originally anticipated. "We were not provided an explanation," Lynn Sutfin said in an emailed statement.
  • A spokesperson for Iowa's Department of Public Health said in a statement on Wednesday that the federal government told state officials that Iowa "as well as all other states, will not receive the volume of vaccine initially anticipated."
  • "It appears our allocation may be reduced by as much as 30%, however we are working to gain confirmation and additional details from our federal partners. It will take us some time to work through next steps and adjust our planning," Sarah Ekstrand added.
  • Officials in Maryland also said they were expecting a reduction in the number of doses they were projected to receive, per the Baltimore Sun.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan(R) said in a news conference Thursday that his team was still trying to figure out the details of what would be allocated to the state. The federal government "did tell us that while these were projections, every Friday they would give us a confirmation" on what would be shipped the following week.
  • Hogan added that the reductions were not "apparently going to impact our first batches for a week or two."

Neither the CDC nor HHS immediately responded to Axios' request for comment.

  • HHS told The Detroit News that allocations "depend on the amount of vaccine available. Each week, (Operation Warp Speed) will let states know how many doses are available to order against for the coming week."
  • HHS added that reports "that jurisdictions’ allocations are being reduced are incorrect. As was done with the initial shipments of Pfizer vaccine, jurisdictions will receive vaccine at different sites over several days."

Pfizer said in a statement Wednesdaythat it has millions of doses "sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."

  • "We have continuously shared with Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through weekly meetings every aspect of our production and distribution capabilities. They have visited our facilities, walked the production lines and been updated on our production planning as information has become available," Pfizer added.
  • Pfizer's statement came after Azar told CNBC on Wednesday that the company has to keep the Trump administration at "arms length" on the manufacturing of its vaccine.

Go deeper: Extra doses of Pfizer vaccine could expand U.S. supply

Special report: How U.S. policy toward China transformed under Trump

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

Keep reading... Show less

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.

Keep reading... Show less

U.S. declares China's actions against Uighurs "genocide"

With just one day left in President Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has officially determined that China's campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of over 1 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang constitutes "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

Why it matters: The U.S. has become the first country to adopt these terms to describe the Chinese Communist Party's gross human rights abuses in its far northwest.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden set to inherit Trump's TikTok conundrum

Donald Trump has one day left in the White House. TikTok has a lot longer left in the app stores, despite still being owned by China's ByteDance.

Why it matters: Trump's failure to force divestiture or eviction was more than just a blunder, or source of schadenfreude for the TikTok users who bedeviled his reelection campaign's event planners. It was part of a "talk loudly and carry a small stick" economic policy toward China that Joe Biden will inherit.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump leaves behind legacy of targeted vitriol towards the press

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Keep reading... Show less

Despite burst of early policy moves, Biden's climate agenda will take years to fulfill

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden's inflation danger: Some economists sound alarm over stimulus plans

President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.

Keep reading... Show less

CES was largely irrelevant this year

Forced online by the pandemic and overshadowed by the attack on the Capitol, the 2021 edition of CES was mostly an afterthought as media's attention focused elsewhere.

Why it matters: The consumer electronics trade show is the cornerstone event for the Consumer Technology Association and Las Vegas has been the traditional early-January gathering place for the tech industry.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories