An estimated 2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 5.9 million doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be delivered this week, including on Christmas Day, Operation Warp Speed officials said Monday.
The Pfizer vaccine is being shipped to about 1,000 locations, and the Moderna vaccine will go to 3,500 sites, according to General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed. Because the recently approved Moderna vaccine does not need to be kept as cold as the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, doses of the vaccine are being sent to harder-to-reach and more rural areas.
By the end of next week, 11 million doses will be distributed to the American people, officials said. By the end of the year, an estimated 20 million doses will be allocated.
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By the second quarter of next year, there will be enough of the vaccine for everyone who wants it, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
On Monday, Perna clarified concerns about states being sent less of the Pfizer vaccine than expected. OWS sent out forecasted numbers that differed from the actual allocation. But there was fair and equitable distribution across the country, Perna said.
Democratic legislators on Friday sent a letter to Azar expressing their concern about lower than expected supplies and 12 states that are still awaiting information on a distribution strategy. Representatives Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, and Brad Schneider of Illinois, along with 14 colleagues wanted answers on supply and transparency.
The letter follows reports last week that state vaccine allotments would be cut nationwide, including by as much as 20% in New Jersey, the legislators said.
On Saturday, Perna apologized for what he called a miscommunication about vaccine shipments.
Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief advisor for OWS, clarified issues around the concern of the new strain of coronavirus that has shut down parts of Britain. There is clear evidence that there is more of it in the population, Slaoui said, but none that this virus is more pathogenic or causes more morbidity.
The National Institutes of Health is also studying the effect of the vaccine in highly allergic individuals after at least three healthcare workers in the United States and the United Kingdom had a severe allergic reaction to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Also on Monday, the American Medical Association urged the CEOs of six leading social media and e-commerce companies to combat misinformation and disinformation about the vaccine on their platforms by sharing correct information from public health institutions such as the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The AMA sent the letter to the heads of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, TikTok and YouTube.
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