Vaccination campaigns in the United States are rapidly increasing. Nearly a month after providing COVID-19 vaccination to more than one million people every day, the second dose of vaccine is about to expire, making the state’s promotion work strained and making some vaccines incomplete. immunity.
In Texas alone, nearly 6,000 people had overdue in early February. Washington State officials said earlier this week that some mass vaccination clinics will only provide follow-up doses. Michigan̵
Carolyn Wilson, chief operating officer of Beaumont Medical Systems in Michigan, said in an interview earlier this week: “I have enough for now and tomorrow.”
US health officials warned last year that the two-injection regimen would increase the difficulty of immunization against COVID-19 and initially postponed the second dose to ensure it can be used three to four weeks after the first recommendation. As President Joe Biden speeds up his purchasing and distribution efforts to protect almost all Americans by the end of the summer, serious weaknesses in the system are beginning to emerge.
Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health and Safety, said: “In the first six weeks or so of the program, we only provided the first shot, and now we have to pay the piper cost of.”
The timing of the dose is regarded as a key factor for effective immunity. Moderna Inc. said that it should be injected every four weeks apart to ensure efficacy, while the partners of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE recommend stopping the drug for three weeks. Bloomberg News reported that the advisory team of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering proposals to extend the interval, although it is not yet clear what impact it may have on protection.
The CDC said in an email that only a small percentage of people who received the vaccine did not receive the second dose within six weeks after the first vaccination, and most people received the vaccine within the recommended three to four weeks. . The agency declined to disclose more detailed figures.
At the same time, more and more data support the delay between doses. AstraZeneca Plc’s vaccine has not yet been approved in the United States. He said that it works best when injected 12 weeks apart. Israeli researchers found that Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can prevent 85% of symptoms with just one dose. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said when he was with Biden at a factory in Michigan on Friday that Pfizer did not think it would work.
Approximately 41 million people across the country have taken at least one shot, and about 40% (16 million people) have taken two shots. According to Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker, approximately 1.6 million vaccines are injected every day. Each state has different standards for those who are first vaccinated, but 202 million Americans are suitable for being a priority group-people over 65, basic workers and adults with high-risk medical conditions.
Data from various states show that people have achieved a series of successes after they have been fully immunized. According to Bloomberg’s analysis of CDC data, more than half of people vaccinated in West Virginia have completed the series of vaccines, but less than one-third of those vaccinated in California and Illinois. These rates may be affected by the rate of administration indicated by the status and the delay in reporting.
People in need of the second dose are competing for scarce supplies, and millions more are trying to get the first dose. States expanded qualifications and opened immunization clinics in sports fields and retail pharmacies. Although a large number of shots are expected soon, the total weekly supply is still only slightly increased.
Houston’s problems started even before the storm hit Texas: Health Director Stephen L. Williams said in an interview earlier this month that the health department only started the second dose in early February. When people received their first photos, the city did not have the technology to book follow-up appointments, but Williams said he hoped that the upgrade in the coming weeks would change this situation.
Williams said the city is sending text and emails with links to register, but he realizes that not everyone will use them. He said: “Our call center was hit hard,” 70,000 people who needed an appointment were called.
Chief Operating Officer Wilson said that Beaumont is a health system with eight hospitals that manages most of its supply in accordance with the instructions of Michigan health officials without holding reserves. However, the replenishment has not been in place in time to provide the second dose. Both the Beaumont and Michigan health departments said they are trying to balance the gap between state allocation and hospital expectations.
When the vaccine first appeared on the market in December, federal officials kept a stock of the second dose. In January, both the Trump administration and the Biden administration urged speeding up the campaign by shipping most of the supplies as soon as possible. But states use different methods to use the second dose: some automatically dispense the second dose, while others require the provider to order the second dose.
Jessica Daley, vice president of strategic supplier operations at Premier Inc., said: “Every jurisdiction has a different approach.” Premier Inc. provides procurement and other services to more than 4,000 hospitals.
Pennsylvania health officials said this week that some healthcare providers inadvertently gave some vaccines, intended as the first booster shot. The Pennsylvania Hospital Association said that hospitals followed the orders of officials to use available medicines, in accordance with the state’s commitment to use a second dose when needed. Confusion may cause delays in subsequent shots, although not more than the six weeks recommended by the CDC.
For people trying to obtain a second dose of the vaccine, the mission can be prevented by the same technical problems and logistical obstacles that made the initial launch difficult.
Wayne Sadin received his first dose of Moderna vaccine at the Croton City Event Center in Houston on January 7th, 68th birthday. Health workers said they will keep in touch with follow-up appointments.
Sadin said: “This is a bit disturbing.”
Four weeks later, the IT consultant did not reply and was unable to contact the health department. His doctor’s office said he must return to the center for a second shot. In the end, he tweeted a tweet to the health department, saying that he had been put on hold by its call center. Thirty days after the first dose, he had a seat on Saturday afternoon.
He said: “I don’t know why they can’t communicate better.”