Dec 6, 2020 - Health

Initial COVID vaccine supply 10% of original government promise

A stack of boxes that say "extremely urgent" on the side.
Cool boxes being transported to a plane as Brussels International Airport shows off its vaccine hub last week. Photo: Johanna Gero/Reuters

The federal government plans to stagger shipments of coronavirus vaccines to help ensure that states don't run out of supplies, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The Trump administration's current plans would make 35 million to 40 million COVID vaccine doses available — instead of the 300 million doses originally promised. The "lower-than-anticipated allocations have caused widespread confusion and concern in states," the Post reports.

  • Local and state officials are rushing to change vaccination plans.
  • The number of vaccines available could pick up in January and February but will still be lower than the administration originally projected.

Pfizer and BioNTech have halved their original estimates of how many of their coronavirus vaccines would be shipped globally by the end of this year, citing supply-chain issues, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The big picture: The global race to develop a COVID vaccine has been one of the fastest in history, as it usually takes more than 10 years for a vaccine to reach regulatory approval after its discovery.

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