Millions of U.S. vaccine doses sit on ice, putting 2020 goal in doubt
(Reuters) – Millions of COVID-19 vaccines are sitting unused in U.S. hospitals and elsewhere a week into the massive inoculation campaign, putting the government’s target for 20 million vaccinations this month in doubt.
As of Wednesday morning, only 1 million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine had been given, about one-third of the first shipment sent last week. Over 9.5 million doses of vaccines, including Moderna’s, have now been sent to states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While hospitals have started giving out Moderna’s vaccine, the CDC has not yet reported that data and there may be a lag in reporting shots given of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The slow pace has barely picked up from the first week when 614,000 shots were given although nearly 2.9 million were shipped.
Hospitals said the first COVID-19 vaccinations started slowly last Monday as they navigated preparing the previously frozen shots for use, finding employees to run the vaccination clinics, and ensuring proper social distancing both before and after vaccination. Some said they did only about 100 shots the first day.
They were contending with a COVID-19 surge, as cases around the United States surpassed 18 million with 323,000 deaths. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/34pvUyi)