The Biden administration is increasing its weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccines to states and territories by 16% next week and plans to give governors more notice of the upcoming allocation of the shots, according to several government officials briefed by the White House on Tuesday.
Vaccine supply to states, territories, and Native American tribes rises to 10 million doses next week, up from 8.6 million, and continues at that rate for the next three weeks. Governors are given a three-week forecast for their vaccine allocation, giving them more time to prepare vaccine distribution plans.
President Biden is expected to announce the changes to the country̵
The federal government plans to buy 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines – 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 100 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, participants said. Next week, the administration will send 5.7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 4.3 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
This acquisition raises the federal government’s total vaccine order from 400 million current doses to 600 million doses, allowing the federal government to, a senior Biden administration official told CBS News on Tuesday.
The newly purchased doses – which will be produced “during the summer” – are from now on not moving up the timeline for all Americans to receive a vaccine if they want one.
“It will take a few months for us to be in a position where we can actually tell the Americans that it is ‘open season,’ as Dr. Fauci calls it, to sign up for vaccinations,” the senior administration said. “But with the announcement today, we have now purchased enough vaccine to vaccinate 300 million Americans, that is good news.”
Governors of both parties were briefed Tuesday afternoon by Jeff Zients, coordinator of the Biden administration’s COVID response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, and Army General Gustave F. Perna, who oversees Operation Warp Speed, the national vaccine distribution program launched by Trump administration.
Representatives of several governors in both parties shared information from the call with CBS News.
Several state officials working for Democratic and Republican governors expressed relief over the increased supply of vaccine and the decision to give heads of state a three-week schedule.
“A glance at three weeks is a lifetime,” when it comes to planning ahead, said one participant on the call, working for a Republican governor.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont called the increase in supply and the new schedule “very useful.”
“The supply has been a bit of a black box going back a month or so now,” Lamont said according to audio from the call obtained by CBS News. “We could not plan more than a week in advance.”
But some governors on the call complained that the CDC’s current system for tracking vaccine distribution creates unfair comparisons between states and territories.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told Wallensky, among others, that the CDC tracking system is “misleading” because some states keep the second dose of the vaccine in reserve for people who have received their first shot, while other states choose to give doses they receive. them.
“Counting the second dose in the equation I think is misleading,” Cuomo said during the call.
“Security is very valuable to us,” Cuomo also said according to the sound of the call. “We have never got everything we need throughout this Covid situation – not through the federal government or through the private sector. But just having facts and security is a very big plus.”
Other governors asked if the CDC could better explain to the public the distribution of a state’s vaccine allocation – how much is considered a “first dose” and how much is considered a second dose. Doing so, these governors stressed, would help temper and inform the public’s understanding of how quickly the shots are being distributed.
Biden administration officials also told governors that the federal government plans to continue distribution per capita. Inhabitant of the vaccine instead of speeding up distribution to states with faster and more effective plans – an idea that had been hovering in recent weeks by the Trump administration. The decision to maintain the distribution per. Population is considered a coup for smaller states concerned about vaccinating their population.
State officials also said they were impressed with the seriousness of the Biden administration’s early outreach to governors, even during the transition.
“These calls have been very cordial during both administrations,” said one participant, “but my boss is grateful for how serious the Biden administration has been in reaching out.”
Michael Kaplan contributed to this report.