Feinstein to CDC: Issue Vaccine Distribution Guidelines to Prevent Wasted Doses


            Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on the CDC to urgently issue guidelines that will maximize vaccine distribution. The letter comes as vaccine providers have reported leftover doses, doses expiring and individuals in priority groups declining vaccination.

            “As states work to improve their vaccine distribution efforts, I ask that you publish best practice guidelines on how COVID-19 vaccine providers can maximize distribution of their allocated doses in situations where demand in priority groups is lower than expected or doses would otherwise be at risk of expiring,” Senator Feinstein wrote.

            The senator continued: “While logistical challenges during the initial rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine were expected, vaccine providers have reported needing to quickly develop new plans to administer leftover doses in cases where they were allocated more than they expected to receive or individuals in priority groups declined to receive their allotted vaccine.  Unfortunately, some hospitals have reported not being able to find new people to vaccinate in time, and so vaccine doses expired.”

            Full text of the letter follows:

January 13, 2021

Dr. Robert R. Redfield

Director

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30329

Dear Dr. Redfield:

            As states work to improve their vaccine distribution efforts, I ask that you publish best practice guidelines on how COVID-19 vaccine providers can maximize distribution of their allocated doses in situations where demand in priority groups is lower than expected or doses would otherwise be at risk of expiring.

            The United States has now surpassed more than 380,000 deaths, including more than 31,000 in California.  According to the American Hospital Association, nearly 2 million people would need to be vaccinated every day starting this month in order to reach the estimated level of protection required to achieve herd immunity by this summer.  To date, however, less than 10 million people have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine despite more than 27 million vaccine doses being distributed to states. 

            While logistical challenges during the initial rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine were expected, vaccine providers have reported needing to quickly develop new plans to administer leftover doses in cases where they were allocated more than they expected to receive or individuals in priority groups declined to receive their allotted vaccine.  Unfortunately, some hospitals have reported not being able to find new people to vaccinate in time, and so vaccine doses expired.

            The successful distribution of COVID-19 vaccines is essential to returning the nation to some semblance of normalcy.  For this reason, I urge that you issue best practice guidelines that will help fully prepare COVID-19 vaccine providers for situations that leave them with limited time to administer extra vaccine doses before they expire.  It is crucial that every effort is made to prevent our limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines from going to waste.

            Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein

United States Senator

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