States expecting fewer COVID-19 vaccines this year than promised

The government will distribute about 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month if Pfizer's vaccine is approved, down from an initial estimate of 300 million, The Hill reported. 

Officials have said the lowered estimates are due to raw material bottlenecks and manufacturing issues. Pfizer halved its estimate of how many COVID-19 vaccines it plans to ship by the end of the year due to supply chain issues. 

The government has said it will distribute the vaccines on a staggered scale to make sure states don't run out of the vaccine before a second dose is required, The Hill reported. 

Maine was originally projected to get 36,000 vaccines in December, and that number is now 12,675, according to The Hill. That number is "far less than what is needed for Maine and proportionally for other states as well," Maine Gov. Janet Mills told The Hill. 

"There were a couple of our vaccine candidates that took significantly longer, in terms of failed batches, in terms of not having the purity we sought," Paul Mango, deputy chief of staff for policy at HHS, said, according to The Hill. "We have cracked the code on these things, but we’re two months behind on some of them."

The government expects to ship 6.4 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine within 24 hours of getting authorization from the FDA. 

"We will need to make decisions on where to send a very limited supply initially that will leave many unsatisfied until the supply improves to meet demand. For example, is it preferable to give more sites a smaller number of doses, or a few sites more doses, when all serve people in the first tier to be offered vaccine?” Jeff Duchin, a top official at the Seattle and King County Health Department, said, according to The Hill. 

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