8 governors urge HHS to give states more COVID-19 vaccines

Eight governors signed a letter sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar demanding that the federal government distribute more COVID-19 vaccines from its stockpile to the states.

In the Jan. 8 letter, the governors wrote their need for more vaccines is becoming more urgent each day as COVID-19 case surges continue and new variants of the coronavirus spread across the country.

"According to publicly reported information, the federal government currently has upwards of 50 percent of currently produced vaccines held back by the administration for reasons unknown," the governors wrote. "While some of these life-saving vaccines are sitting in Pfizer freezers, our nation is losing 2,661 Americans each day, according to the latest seven-day average."

The governors also wrote that the federal government's failure to distribute more vaccines to states that request them is "unconscionable and unacceptable."

It appears HHS is unlikely to heed the governors' request, as a department spokesperson responded to the letter by telling Politico "there will always be a lag between shots allocated and those ordered, between those ordered and those delivered, between those delivered and those administered, and between those administered and reported as administered."

The eight states with governors who signed the letter are California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington and Kansas.

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