U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue guidelines that will maximize vaccine distribution.
In a letter to CDC Director Robert Redfield, Feinstein pointed out that some vaccine providers have reported leftover doses, doses expiring, and individuals in priority groups declining vaccination. The CDC should have a plan to avoid this kind of waste, she said.
“As states work to improve their vaccine distribution efforts, I ask that you publish best practice guidelines on how COVID-19 vaccine providers can maximize distribution of their allocated doses in situations where demand in priority groups is lower than expected, or doses would otherwise be at risk of expiring,” Feinstein wrote.
According to the American Hospital Association, nearly 2 million people would need to be vaccinated every day starting this month to reach the estimated level of protection required to achieve herd immunity by this summer. Feinstein pointed out that less than 10 million people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine despite more than 27 million doses being distributed to states.
“While logistical challenges during the initial rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine were expected, vaccine providers have reported needing to quickly develop new plans to administer leftover doses in cases where they were allocated more than they expected to receive or individuals in priority groups declined to receive their allotted vaccine. Unfortunately, some hospitals have reported not being able to find new people to vaccinate in time, and so vaccine doses expired,” Feinstein wrote to Redfield.
The United States now has more than 380,000 deaths from COVID-19.