Vaccines Promised This Week By Trump Administration Don’t Actually Exist
Coronavirus vaccine reserves that were expected to be rolled out this week in the US don’t actually exist, according to health officials.
Earlier this month, the US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said the government would be releasing a supply of coronavirus vaccines it had been holding in reserve to use as second doses, so that as many people as possible over the age of 65 could be vaccinated.
Speaking at an Operation Warp Speed briefing on January 12, Azar said: ‘Because we now have a consistent pace of production, we can now ship all of the doses that had been held in physical reserve.’
Operation Warp Speed is the government taskforce responsible for overseeing the rollout of the vaccine. Azar has since resigned from the post, citing the riots at the Capitol last week, which he said ‘tarnish’ the work of the operation.
One unnamed senior administration official told CNN the doses the government planned to release had already been released into the system at the end of 2020, and that there weren’t any physical reserves.
Then, seeming to contradict his earlier statement, Azar said yesterday, January 15, that there is no reserve stockpile.
‘We now have enough confidence that our ongoing production will be quality and available to provide the second dose for people, so we’re not sitting on a reserve anymore. We’ve made that available to the states to order,’ he said, as per Reuters.
According to The Washington Post, health officials had anticipated that the ‘reserve’ would double their vaccine supply beginning this week.
One official told CNN that the reserve is ‘rolling’ and replenished with new supply as production happens. This means that states will still benefit from the extra doses which were rolled out into circulation at the end of 2020, but there will not be a sudden surge in vaccine numbers, as states had been led to believe.
Oregon Governor, Kate Brown tweeted yesterday that she was demanding answers from the Trump administration.
‘I am shocked and appalled that they have set an expectation on which they could not deliver, with such grave consequences. This is a deception on a national scale. Oregon’s seniors, teachers, all of us, were depending on the promise of Oregon’s share of the federal reserve of vaccines being released to us,’ she said.
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