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States Respond to COVID-19: Vaccine Supply Uncertainty

After receiving fewer than expected COVID-19 vaccine amounts, some states are holding back doses to ensure those who receive the first shot can obtain the follow-up dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports as of Feb. 1, 50 million doses have been distributed and only about 31 million have been administered. It is likely all of the 20 million doses yet to be distributed are being held for second doses by states.

Further, CDC updated its vaccine guidance, stating both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines could be administered up to 42 days apart, but still recommending the original intervals of 21 and 28 days, respectively. Based on this guidance, Delaware’s Division of Public Health announced it will recommend scheduling doses between 28 and 35 days apart.

Other states, including Connecticut and Arizona, are grappling with the logistical trouble of ensuring individuals get their second dose — especially seniors. The online platforms for scheduling can be confusing and time consuming, leaving many people anxious about receiving their second dose in the recommended timeframe. More than 20 states are using federal funding to address concerns with vaccine administration in hopes of speeding up the process.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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