States have opened mass inoculation sites and expanded eligibility for the coronavirus vaccine, but the supply is not increasing fast enough to keep up with the demand, The New York Times reported on Monday.
States are steadily widening access to the vaccine beyond the most vulnerable groups but are not receiving enough doses to keep up.
In California, for example, the state has already used 72% of its doses and has shortages in some areas, with the mass vaccination site at Dodger Stadium being closed over the weekend because Los Angeles ran out of its vaccine supply, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“When vaccines do get to Los Angeles, we know how to administer them,” Garcetti told reporters. “But the problem is, we still aren’t receiving enough doses soon enough.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said many districts around Atlanta have halted the scheduling of new vaccine appointments because federal deliveries were falling well below the demand.
Expanding lists too quickly of those eligible for the vaccine could backfire, warned Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.
“People are going to be angry when they are promised a second dose and don’t get it on time,” he said.
Other experts have said there should be more flexibility for places that have already vaccinated their most vulnerable residents.
“I think the dangerous thing is some places are too regimented with the current rules,” said Dr. Robert Murphy, the director of Northwestern’s Institute for Global Health. “If you’ve got an extra 50 vials, that’s 500 doses, and nobody is coming, and this thing is going to expire in a matter of days or weeks — give it out.”
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