The Biden administration opposes calls to change its vaccine distribution strategy as COVID-19 cases increase in some states and demand lags elsewhere.
Several prominent health experts as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerOvernight Health Care: White House Rejects Call to Send More Vaccine Doses to Certain States White House Warns States to Expect Low Weekly Shipments of J&J Vaccine White House Rejects Call to Send More Vaccine Doses to Certain States Biden to send more vaccines to Michigan in the middle of the tip MORE (D) and members of the state congressional delegation have called on the Biden administration to send additional vaccine doses to their state amid a worrying increase in cases and admissions there.
But on Friday, the White House rejected Michigan̵
The situation highlights differences between states, but while Michigan complains about multiple vaccine doses in the midst of an increase, other states have thousands of unfilled agreements.
The Mississippi, for example, had over 70,000 deals available on Thursday, The New York Times reported.
Whitmer said she would continue to push for an increase in vaccine doses for her condition after she unsuccessfully made the case in a phone call with President BidenJoe BidenBiden takes advantage of California’s workplace safety manager to lead OSHA Romney to the explosion of the end of filibusters, expanding SCOTUS US mulling cash payments to help curb migration MORE Thursday evening.
“I made the case for a surge strategy,” Whitmer said at a news conference Friday. “At this point, it is not being implemented, but I will not give up.”
She said the strategy should be to use vaccine doses to “suffocate where the hot spots are.”
While Michigan right now is by far the hardest hit state, Whitmer said other states could soon be able to ask for more doses as well. Other hotspot states are largely in the northeast, including New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.
The White House said it would also offer additional staff to other hard-hit states besides Michigan, but did not specify who said talks were continuing.
“Today it’s Michigan and the Midwest, tomorrow it could be a different part of our country,” Whitmer said.
The White House said Friday it will send additional staff to help with vaccinations to hard-hit states like Michigan as well as additional testing capacity and treatments.
Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research, called on the extra staff to help with vaccinations in the midst of Michigan’s rise in the event of a sign that the Biden administration is “finally taking it seriously” and says “this has brewed” in a couple weeks.
Like other states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show that there is a significant gap between doses delivered to Michigan and the number actually administered, meaning there is room for the state to intensify vaccinations even without multiple doses, he said. Topol.
But more broadly, he said more doses for hot spots would also make sense, rather than the current formula, which is largely population-based.
“Population-based doesn’t make sense,” he said. “That’s where it’s needed.”
Jeff ZientsJeff ZientsOvernight Health Care: White House Rejections Calls for more vaccine doses to be sent to certain states White House warns states to expect low weekly shipments of J&J vaccine White House warns states to expect low weekly shipments of J & J J-vaccine weekly shipments from the White House call for sending more vaccine doses to certain states MORE, White House coordinator for the COVID-19 response, defended the population-based formula Friday, saying that all over the country need vaccines and that the administration did not want to switch more doses to hot-spots like Michigan.
“There are tens of thousands of millions of people across the country in every state and county who have not yet been vaccinated,” Zients said. “And the fair and equitable way of distributing the vaccine is based on the adult population by state, tribe and territory. That’s how it is done and we will continue to do it. ”
“The virus is unpredictable,” he added. “We do not know where the next increase in cases may occur.”
As a majority of states have now opened up vaccine eligibility to all adults, the problem in some parts of the country is beginning to shift to supply that exceeds demand rather than the other way around.
“As demand begins to wane, that’s why we go out to get people working in factories, that’s why we go out to churches and all these other things,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineJohnson & Johnson vaccine doses take big drop next week TV host and keeper Jack Hanna diagnosed with dementia Here’s who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in each state MORE (R) said at a news conference Thursday.
Polls show Republicans are more resistant to vaccination than the general population. A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, published in late March, showed that 29 percent of Republicans said they “certainly would not” get the vaccine compared to 13 percent of the general population.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blows up end of filibuster, SCOTUS McConnell extension, GOP beats Biden’s announcement of SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | The Pentagon is moving toward new screening for extremists MORE (Ky.) Has called on members of his party to be vaccinated.
“As a Republican man, I took the vaccine as soon as it was my turn,” he said in late March at an event in Kentucky. “I would urge all Republican men to do that.”
As vaccinations progress, new cases remain relatively stable at the national level, albeit at a high level of around 65,000 a day. In Michigan, however, cases are sharp, as are hospital admissions, which have risen from about 850 in early March to over 3,000, according to data collected by The New York Times.
The continued toll of the virus, even with available vaccines, underscores the need to get them into arms as soon as possible.
“The biggest tragedy right now is that we have vaccines on hand that can prevent hospitalization and death, and when we see an increase in that it makes sense that we should act quickly to try to prevent that from happening, Said Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “And so if there are states that are fighting more than others, I think it makes sense for them to get additional vaccines.”