BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is among a number of states who say they’ve been told to expect fewer doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine next week.
A spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Health told WBZ-TV the CDC informed them that the shipment of Pfizer’s vaccine has been reduced to about 42,900 doses. That’s down from the state’s original order of nearly 60,000 doses.
“At this time, it’s not clear to us why the shipment amounts have been adjusted,” Gov. Charlie Baker said at a news conference Friday.
“We’re certainly frustrated that we won’t be receiving the amount that we expected in the first wave and are working to get clarity on what this means, why it happens and how that bump will be dealt with along the way.”
Baker said people who have already received the vaccine will still get their second doses on schedule in about three weeks.
At the same news conference, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said Massachusetts was expecting 180,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine by the end of December, but now that number will be 145,000, about 20-percent less than expected.
Sudders says the shortage in expected doses could potentially cause a delay in getting vaccinations to first responders who are next in line for vaccinations after the elderly at long term care facilities.
No official explanation has been given but the White House downplayed the risk of delays while Pfizer said its production levels have not changed.
“Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed. This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses,” the company said in a statement.
Gov Charlie Baker says the state has been informed about 20k fewer doses than expected in first vaccine shipment from Pfizer. Gov says they’re “working to get clarity” on why & how it may affect the schedule. Says it could lead to slight, but not significant delay. #wbz pic.twitter.com/hQdC1hjMR2
— Christina Hager (@HagerWBZ) December 18, 2020
Baker said he has a call with federal authorities next week and hopes to have more answers then.