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Second-Shot Crunch Leaves Many Without Complete Immunizations

Published in: Bloomberg

When vaccines first became available in December, federal officials held back a reserve of second doses. In January, both the Trump and Biden administrations urged accelerating the campaign by shipping most of the supply as soon as it became available. But states take different approaches to using second doses: some automatically allocate second doses, while others ask providers to order them.

“Every jurisdiction is approaching this differently,” said Jessica Daley, vice president of strategic supplier engagement at Premier Inc., which provides purchasing and other services to more than 4,000 hospitals.

Pennsylvania health officials said this week that some providers inadvertently gave some shots intended as boosters for first doses. Hospitals followed officials’ orders to use available supplies, relying on the state’s pledge that second doses would be available when needed, Pennsylvania’s hospital association said. The mix-up may lead to delays in follow-up shots, though not beyond the six weeks recommended by the CDC.

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