The Baltimore Sun (January 21)
Like it did for many Maryland seniors, Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement last week offered hope for Stephen Poe. It meant the 80-year-old who lives near Edgewater would be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine in a few days. So Poe visited the Anne Arundel County Department of Health’s website and filled out a preregistration form. He got an automated confirmation email saying his information had been received, and then tried signing up through his hospital and two other counties.
States Report Running Out Of Vaccine Doses; Biden Plans To Adjust US Pandemic Response.
The AP (1/20, Hill) reports, “The push to inoculate Americans against the coronavirus is hitting a roadblock: A number of states are reporting they are running out of vaccine, and tens of thousands of people who managed to get appointments for a first dose are seeing them canceled.” The “reason for the apparent mismatch between supply and demand in the U.S. was unclear, but last week the Health and Human Services Department suggested that states had unrealistic expectations for how much vaccine was on the way.” The shortages “are coming as states dramatically ramp up their vaccination drives, at the federal government’s direction, to reach people 65 and older, along with certain others.”
Vaccinating California Residents Aged 65 And Older May Take Until June To Finish, Epidemiologist Says.
The Los Angeles Times (1/20, Shalby, Cosgrove, Gutierrez) reports “vaccinating Californians 65 and over could take until June to complete, the state’s epidemiologist said Wednesday, raising new concerns about when other groups will be eligible for the vaccine and underscoring the rapidly dwindling COVID-19 vaccine stockpiles.” That timeline “would push back vaccine access for people not currently on the priority list for at least four months, based on state epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan’s estimate at a vaccine advisory committee meeting.” However, the “pace could change if the federal government speeds up shipments beyond the current rate of 300,000 to 500,000 doses each week, Pan said.”
The San Francisco Chronicle (1/20, Ho) reports given the “rate of vaccines coming into the state – between 400,000 doses and 500,000 doses a week, in a good week – it will take an estimated 20 to 22 weeks to vaccinate the 65-and-over population alone...Pan said during a state vaccine advisory committee meeting.” On Wednesday, “Pan said...most skilled nursing homes in California that are part of the CVS and Walgreens federal pharmacy program will complete vaccinations soon.”
New Jersey Governor Blames Feds, Walgreens For Slow COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout.
CNBC (1/20, DeCiccio) reports “New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blamed Walgreens and the federal government for the Garden State’s sluggish [COVID-19] vaccine rollout during a Wednesday evening interview on CNBC’s ‘The News with Shepard Smith.’” Murphy said, “The big reason is the federal program with CVS and Walgreens. ... They basically amassed these doses, they schedule visits to long-term care nursing homes, extended living, and they’re punching under their weight, particularly Walgreens, and that’s where most of the yet-to-be-used doses are.” The governor “suggested to host Shepard Smith that Walgreens ‘put more bodies on the case’ in order to solve the rollout problem.”
New Jersey Is Not Vaccinating Residents With Disabilities Despite Promise, Advocates Say.
The Bergen (NJ) Record (1/20, Myers) reports that New Jersey residents “with disabilities, at greater risk of severe illness from the coronavirus, are not yet being vaccinated, in spite of the state’s promise to do so starting last month.” Advocates “say the state has not prioritized this medically vulnerable population throughout the pandemic, so this is par for the course.” Tens of thousands of people “with the most severe disabilities who live in group homes, centers and apartments overseen by the state were told they would be top priority and included in Phase 1A for vaccine distribution.”
NJ News (1/20, Price Mueller) also reports.
South Carolina Officials Slightly Expand COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility.
The AP (1/20, Liu) reports “South Carolina health officials have slightly expanded the pool of people eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination as seniors and some health care workers continue to struggle to secure access to the lifesaving vaccine.” South Carolina “Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell announced Wednesday that parents caring for medically fragile or severely disabled children have been added to the state’s initial phase of its vaccine plan.” There are roughly “3,000 people estimated to be eligible under the new category, Bell said.”
More Than 40K Floridians Have Not Gotten Second Dose Of Coronavirus Vaccine Within Suggested Time Frame.
The Tampa Bay (FL) Times (1/20, Ross, Wilson) reports, “More than 40,000 people in Florida have not gotten their second shots of a coronavirus vaccine within the recommended time frame to do so, raising questions about why that may be happening.” Both of the coronavirus vaccines “approved for use in the United States require two doses per person to be fully effective, with Pfizer-BioNTech recommending a second dose after three weeks and Moderna vaccine doses scheduled four weeks apart, although experts say it’s not critical that second doses be administered in exactly those time frames.” More than “1 million people in Florida have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to state data from Tuesday. Of those, about 100,000 came back for their second shots and another 44,000 were listed in state data as overdue for second doses.”
State Officials Say Their Supply Of COVID-19 Vaccine Is Running Low.
CNN (1/19, Murray, Howard, Holmes) reports US states “say they’re running low on coronavirus vaccine supply, with many officials insisting the vaccine delivery numbers reported by the Trump administration don’t align with what they are seeing on the ground.” The article says, “From New York to Tennessee to West Virginia, officials are clamoring for more doses of coronavirus vaccine.” In addition, state officials “said that federal tallies suggesting they have thousands of doses sitting on the shelves don’t accurately reflect the supply of vaccine on hand.” The piece mentions HHS Secretary Alex Azar.
Operation Warp Speed Decision To Send Vaccines Week-By-Week Leads To Confusion For States.
ProPublica (1/19, Chen, Gabrielson, Arnsdorf) reports, “Hospitals and clinics across the country are canceling vaccine appointments because the Trump administration tells states how many doses they’ll receive only one week at a time, making it all but impossible to plan a comprehensive vaccination campaign.” The move “to go week by week was made by Operation Warp Speed’s chief operating officer, Gen. Gustave Perna, because he didn’t want to count on supplies before they were ready,” but state health officials “say the unpredictable shipments have led to chaos on the ground, including the inability to quickly use up all of the doses sent to them.” The system “also makes it hard to plan for the second doses,” but the “second doses are ordered separately, on Sundays, according to a spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services.”
COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Problems Plague California.
The AP (1/19, Thompson) reports “vaccine supply issues continued to plague California on Tuesday even as other indicators about the spread of the coronavirus showed what the top health official called ‘rays of hope’ amid the deadliest days of the pandemic.” The public health department in San Francisco “said it’s likely to run out of vaccine Thursday, in part because the state pulled back on administering a batch of Moderna shots after several health workers in San Diego had a bad reaction.” Still, “even with the lagging supply, California in the last week greatly expanded both the number of people cleared to get a vaccine and its capacity for administering shots.”
The Los Angeles Times (1/19, Dolan) reports “San Francisco’s public health department will run out of COVID-19 vaccine Thursday because the city’s allocation dropped substantially from a week ago and doses that had to be discarded were not replaced, city officials said Tuesday.” San Francisco Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax “said at a news conference that the city received 12,000 doses a week ago and asked for the same number this week. Instead, the city received only 1,775 doses.”
California Officials Hope Biden Will Help Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout. The AP (1/20, Thompson) reports “California officials are pinning their hopes on...Joe Biden as they struggle to obtain coronavirus vaccines to curb a coronavirus surge that has packed hospitals and morgues.” COVID-19 vaccine doses “have been arriving haphazardly as they make their way from the federal government through the state and finally to counties, cities and hospitals.” San Francisco “Mayor London Breed said she was ‘ready to celebrate’ when Biden takes office on Wednesday, believing there will be more support.” Meanwhile, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said, “Tomorrow, the new federal administration takes over, and we expect our situation to improve greatly.”
Vaccine Supply Limits Will Restrict Number Of Older Residents In Los Angeles County That Can Get Inoculated, Officials Say. The Los Angeles Times (1/19, Cosgrove, Shalby) reports “severe limits in the supply of COVID-19 vaccine will restrict how many older residents of Los Angeles County get vaccinated in the coming days and weeks, public health officials said Tuesday.” Authorities “said residents ages 65 or older could begin scheduling appointments on Tuesday to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but slots were limited to about 50,000 this week, largely due to a shortage of doses.” The move “to open the vaccine eligibility list to seniors was made to accelerate access to a population that has been disproportionately affected by the virus. But it will take time to vaccinate all 1.3 million residents in the age group, officials said.”
Vaccinations For Los Angeles County Residents 65 And Older To Begin Wednesday.
The Los Angeles Daily News (1/19, Carter) reports, “Despite a critical shortage of supply, the rollout of coronavirus vaccines for people 65 and older in Los Angeles County will begin Wednesday, Jan. 20,” and “seniors will be able to begin making reservations to get their first shots starting as soon as this afternoon, officials said Tuesday, Jan. 19.” This “new clarity on the rollout emerges following pressure from the public and from the county’s Board of Supervisors to get the vaccine into the arms of people older than 65 sooner.”
California Residents 65 And Older Facing Obstacles To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine.
The Los Angeles Times (1/19, Xia) reports that since California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced last week that residents “65 and older would now be eligible for vaccination, officials statewide have been flooded with calls from Golden State seniors, amid a spike in hospitalizations and deaths after the holidays. The problem is that there are more people who want to be inoculated, and who are brimming with questions, than there is vaccine to do the critical job.” The Times says this has resulted in “widespread confusion, particularly in Los Angeles County, which has lost more residents to COVID-19 than any other in this hard-hit state.”
Roughly 18% Of People Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccinations In Virginia, Maryland, DC Have Received At Least One Dose, Data Show.
The Washington Times (1/19, Tan) reports “about 18% of the nearly 3.6 million people eligible for coronavirus vaccinations in Maryland, Virginia and the District have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose, data from regional health departments show.” As of Tuesday, “officials had administered shots to 648,098 residents in the three jurisdictions, which have a total combined population of about 15.27 million people.” DC “is leading in the regional vaccination effort, having administered 41,053 doses (66%) of the 62,200 shots it has received from the federal government. Maryland has distributed 265,657 doses (48%) of the 551,700 it has received, and Virginia has administered 341,388 doses (36%) of the 943,400 it has received.”
Georgia Senior Citizens Face “Nightmare” Trying To Set Up Appointments For COVID-19 Booster Shots.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1/19, Edwards, Schrade, Stirgus) reports that in Georgia, “seniors lucky enough to get first doses of a coronavirus vaccine say they’re facing a nightmare trying to book appointments for the required booster shots.” Even if the seniors “get appointments, it’s not clear if Georgia will have enough doses on hand to administer second shots while still meeting the overwhelming demand for first shots.” Meanwhile, Georgia “is plowing ahead with putting as many shots into as many arms as possible, counting on more shipments in the coming weeks after...Joe Biden takes office.”
Some Minnesota Vaccine Registration Sites Overwhelmed As Older Residents Become Eligible.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune (1/19, Olson) reports, “Minnesotans 65 and older clogged phone lines and crashed a state website on Tuesday afternoon as they sought to make appointments for a new, limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine at nine test sites.” The article adds, “Online registration launched at noon but was halted within an hour due to ‘extremely high’ traffic, according to the website.” One state health official “said as of 2 p.m. that 4,171 of roughly 6,000 appointments had been booked, and that the website had been receiving 2,000 hits per second and peaked at 10,000 hits per second.”
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead (ND) (1/19, Scott) reports “health officials offered the signup accompanied by avowed protestations that the state simply is not being sent enough vaccines to treat the enormous group of citizens who now qualify for doses under a last-minute policy change initiated in Washington.” HHS Secretary Alex Azar “advised all states to begin offering vaccines to everyone aged 65 and over, effectively upending the process and guaranteeing widespread frustration as a far larger group of Americans scrambled for a fixed sum of vaccine.”
The AP (1/19) also reports on the story.
Pennsylvania Providers Warn Of Low Vaccine Supply As Residents 65 And Older Become Eligible.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (1/19, Guza) reports, “Pennsylvania will prioritize people 65 and older and others with certain conditions for covid-19 vaccination, though many providers say the supply of vaccine is so low they simply cannot begin vaccinating any more groups.” Pennsylvania’s “1A phase of vaccination initially included most health care employees as well as residents in long-term care facilities.”
The Pittsburgh Business Times (1/19, Gough) also reports on the story.
Ohio Residents Aged 80 And Older Now Eligible For COVID-19 Vaccine.
Crain’s Cleveland Business (1/19, Palmer) reports “it is an ‘exciting day’ now that more than 420,000 Ohioans age 80 years and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Mike DeWine said.” The governor admitted “that with only 100,000 doses coming into the state during the first week of the new Phase 1B that ‘the majority of those 80 and older will not get it this week.’” The state’s “goal, the governor said, is to vaccinate those most vulnerable first. He added that with the state’s aging population and people’s willingness to receive the vaccine, the plan to lower the age of eligibility by five years each week going forward may have to be delayed.”
Alabama Sees Large Turnout After Opening Vaccine Eligibility To People 75 And Older.
The AP (1/19) reports, “Thousands of people showed up” across Alabama as the state “began vaccinating senior citizens for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.” The AP adds that some “spent the night in cars waiting for shots,” while at one site, 500 were vaccinated “although only 300 people had appointments.” The state expanded vaccine eligibility “to people 75 and older.” So far, “about 150,000 have received shots,” according to the Alabama Department of Public Health, and “more than 600,000 people are currently eligible for vaccinations in Alabama, including 325,000 health care workers and 350,000 people who are 75 or older.”
Wisconsin Residents Over Age 65 Next To Receive Vaccine.
The AP (1/19, Bauer) reports every resident “over age 65 in Wisconsin will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday and it could take a couple of months to inoculate the entire group of 700,000 people, state health officials said.” The state Department of Health Services “cautioned that the speed of vaccinations depends on how much vaccine the federal government sends.” The state “receives about 70,000 doses of first-dose vaccine each week.”
Chicago Nursing Home Network Offering $150 Bonus To Those Opting To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine.
The Chicago Tribune (1/19, Buckley) reports, “The health care network, BRIA Health Services, which has multiple facilities in the Chicago area, is offering” a $150 bonus to those who opt to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, “which has not had universal buy-in among health care workers eligible to take it under the state’s first phase of inoculation.” The article adds, “Some studies have shown that incentivizing vaccines can increase participation, but some experts are wary of the practice.”
Fox Business (1/19, Conklin) also covers the story.
Some Older People Dropping Out Of Novavax’s Coronavirus Vaccine Trial To Receive Pfizer’s Or Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine.
The Washington Post (1/19, Rowland) reports some older people who are now eligible to receive the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines in New York are dropping out of a clinical trial testing Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine candidate. The article adds that as more people become eligible for coronavirus vaccine, it makes it more difficult to complete clinical trials testing other potential vaccines.
Maine Governor Says Residents Aged 70 And Older, First Responders Will Be Among First People To Receive COVID-19 Vaccine.
The Center Square (IL) (1/19, Wade) reported Gov. Janet Mills (D) “says first-responders and Mainers 70 and over will now be among the first to get the COVID-19 vaccines.” The governor “has signed an executive order moving police officers, firefighters and other first-responders into a higher priority category of its vaccination plans, along with health care personnel, such as doctors and nurses, allowing them to get the drugs sooner.” Maine “is also moving up people age 70 and older into a higher priority category of vaccinations.”