UPDATE Dec. 17, 2020: The Iowa Department of Public Health released the new allocation numbers for COVID-19 vaccine, with 65,000 doses from Pfizer (30,000 fewer than expected) and 73,300 from Moderna, (3,700 fewer) for a total of 138,300, or 33,700 doses less than the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention initially projected. No reason was given for the reduction, but the department noted it is “committed to initiating the national pharmacy program for long-term care facilities the week of December 28 as planned, though the original timeline for completion will be impacted.” Additional update: See statement from Pfizer at end.
Iowa’s allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine could be reduced as much as 30 percent, the Iowa Department of Public Health announced.
“Today the federal government notified the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) that the State of Iowa, as well as all other states, will not receive the volume of vaccine initially anticipated,” the Department of Public Health noted in a Dec. 16 press release.
The state had expected 172,000 doses — 95,000 of Pfizer and 77,000 from Moderna once it’s approved — by the end of December.
Already this week, some Iowa health care workers have been given their initial injections of the two-dose vaccine.
The department did not give a reason for the reduction, but said officials are “working to gain confirmation and additional details from our federal partners. It will take us some time to work through next steps and adjust our planning.”
Gov. Kim Reynolds did not mention the reduction during a press conference today in which she announced she will loosen restrictions on gatherings as of Dec. 17.
“I don’t want to over-restrict,” she said when asked about the timing of the changes, even as confirmed cases and deaths have not abated in the state. “I have to find that balance to protect the life and livelihoods of Iowans.”
As of the morning of Dec. 16, Iowa has had 260,237 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,354 Iowans had died of the virus, either as an underlying or contributing cause.
Statement from Pfizer
New York, NY, December17, 2020 –Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today released the following statement to address public comments that allege there are issues in the production and distribution of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine: “Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed.
This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.
We have continuously shared with Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through weekly meetings every aspect of our production and distribution capabilities. They have visited our facilities, walked the production lines and been updated on our production planning as information has become available.
Pfizer has a successful and long track record of producing and distributing large volumes of complex vaccines that the world can trust –and we are continuing to extend this track record with our COVID-19 vaccine.
Over the last several months, we have activated Pfizer’s extensive manufacturing network, including thousands of highly skilled workers in multiple locations. As a result, Pfizer is manufacturing and readying for release millions of doses each day, and that volume will grow over the coming weeks. We remain confident in our ability to deliver up to 50 million doses globally this year and up to 1.3 billion next year, and we look forward to continuing to work with the US Government to deliver our vaccine to the American people.”
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has not been approved or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but has been authorized for emergency use by FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for use in individuals 16 years of age and older. The emergency use of this product is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of the medical product under Section 564(b)(1) of the FD&C Act unless the declaration is terminated or authorization revoked sooner. Please see EUA Fact Sheet at: www.cvdvaccine.com.