The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed have finally informed state health departments and governors’ offices about the number of doses of the coronavirus vaccine that will be allocated to them once it is authorized and these numbers are not enough.
With expectations that the Pfizer and most probably Moderna vaccines will be cleared for emergency use authorization, states are being told that there aren’t enough of them to fully vaccinate those whom they have designated as their first and top priority.
Federal officials have estimated that almost 40 million doses will be available by the end of the month providing both Pfizer and Moderna get the USFDA authorization. This will be enough to vaccinate only 20 million as both the vaccines are two-dose vaccines and each person will require two doses for efficacy.
States have to decide how will they ration the vaccine among the top priority groups. This will set a timetable for the time when other groups down the line can be vaccinated. This will be after the first small installment of the highest priority group is used among health care workers. States have already been forced to trim the groups of healthcare workers.
As an example, California has to vaccinate 2.4 million healthcare workers as the first priority. However, the state will only receive 327,000 doses from Pfizer initially. So, the state has to trim its list of the top priority group to decide which workers get the first batch of vaccines.
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