Azar also said that states had only ordered 75% of the doses available to them.
'This is a deception on a national scale.
In the letter, addressed to President Trump, Azar laid out what he considered to be the best accomplishments of HHS over the past four years.
Azar had said on Tuesday that the administration would release millions of doses it had been holding in reserve for booster shots in order to help spur a sluggish rollout of first doses to those most in need of the vaccine.
Confusion over a vaccine supply windfall that was promised to governors but failed to materialize arose as scattered shortages emerged on the frontlines of the most ambitious and complex immunization campaign in U.S. history, prompting at least one large NY healthcare system to cancel a slew of inoculation appointments. And now, multiple governors are saying the promised increased shipments of the vaccine are not coming from the federal government.
In fact, as early as the end of December, the White House had been shipping doses to states that had just been newly manufactured.
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"Because we now have a consistent pace of production, we can now ship all of the doses that had been held in physical reserve", Azar said Tuesday.
"And then we read, as everybody else, that they have reneged on that, or for whatever reason are unable to deliver on that", Newsom said.
'I believe what [the administration] did was politically motivated. "We should have been prepared to start inoculating millions of people the day a vaccine was approved".
"Governors were told repeatedly by [the Department of Health and Human Services] there was a strategic reserve of vaccines, and this week, the American people were told it'd be released to increase supply of vaccine", tweeted Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) on Friday. When states inquired as to when they would get the vaccines, however, they were informed the policy had been in place for weeks and no extra doses would be sent, according to the Washington Post.
"It was a complete surprise", Freeman told CNN, adding, "To hear that this had been done for several weeks was actually shocking to us". She also noted that there's a risk that citizens will not be inoculated correctly if the government isn't able to provide reliable numbers for its vaccine supply. But even if Joe Biden can turn things around at the national level, we're still stuck with Arkansas's insufficient response to both COVID-19 itself and vaccination distribution. But the administration's inconsistent estimates on the number of vaccines has been problematic for conditions.
State officials nationwide-who on Tuesday had been instructed by HHS Secretary Alex Azar to broaden inoculation eligibility criteria-learned roughly 72 hours later that the so-called vaccine reserve had already been exhausted by the time they were told to plan for a surge in supply. Under the original recommendations, adults 65 and older and front-line essential workers were to comprise the second priority group, known as phase 1b, in line after medical workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. "It is so critical that states get accurate estimates and allocations in advance so that they can plan for vaccine distribution and administration".