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Bullock: Montana share of Pfizer vaccine reduced by 20 percent

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 10:53:39-05

Montana's share of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses has been reduced by 20 percent, down from 60,000 to 48,000, Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday in a news release.

Other states also saw reductions as the federal government continues to wrestle with a plan to distribute the vaccine nationwide.

Montana's first innoculations began earlier this week and were reserved for front-line hospital workers in the state's larger cities.

This second week, a shipment of 6,825 Pfizer vaccinations will be designated for rural hospital workers and staff and residents of long-term care facilities, according to Bullock.

CBS News reports that more than 10 other states have been told that the number of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine they were expecting to receive next week has been cut, with little information as to the reason. States affected include Wyoming, Minnesota, Washington, California, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, and Kentucky.

A senior White House administration official said states were notified of the changes on Tuesday night and that any numbers provided before this week were "potential planning numbers" and should not have been considered concrete promises. "Potential planning numbers had been provided in previous months with the understanding that they were just that: potential. States were told they would get final allocation before official allocation numbers a week before, depending on the amount of doses available from manufacturers," the official said.

The state is expected to receive 18,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week. This is the same as previously anticipated, but the number will likely be reduced in coming weeks.

The Moderna vaccine includes 100 doses per box and does not require ultra cold storage, making it more easily delivered to rural settings or small facilities. The Moderna vaccines will be shipped to Critical Access Hospitals and Community Health Centers for health care workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.