Governor wants answers on how distribution is being managed. State sets up a clinic for Bamlanivimab.
Gov. Tony Evers said Friday the state has been informed by the federal government that it will receive roughly 15,000 fewer doses than expected next week of the new COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, adding Wisconsin to a list of states where officials are now worried about delays in vaccinating the first wave of Americans most susceptible to a coronavirus infection.
“This is unacceptable. Wisconsin citizens deserve the vaccine the federal government promised,” Evers said in a statement. “Our healthcare workers and long-term care residents need this vaccine that is ready and available. We call on the federal government to send us more vaccine without delay.”
Evers said the state was informed Thursday it will only be receiving 35,100 doses of Pfizer, which is much less than expected after the initial doses allocated this week was 49,725.
He wants the Trump administration to provide clarity on COVID-19 vaccine allocations with more advanced notice since statewide distribution involves several players including the state Department of Health Services (DHS), the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and local providers.
They are all working to halt a pandemic that has killed 4,315 in Wisconsin as of Friday, according to a daily DHS report showing 60 new deaths, 324 over the past week. There were 3,235 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday, bringing the state total to more than 450,000.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, learned Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the state’s allocation would be cut by 40%.
“We need accurate, predictable numbers to plan and ensure on-the-ground success,” tweeted Inslee.
California will receive 160,000 fewer vaccine doses than state officials had anticipated next week—a roughly 40% reduction. Missouri’s health director said his state will get 25% to 30% less of the vaccine than anticipated. The Iowa Department of Public Health expects up to a 30% decline. Michigan’s shipment will drop by about a quarter. Several other states reported similar discoveries.
Senior Trump administration officials on Thursday downplayed the risk of delays, citing a confusion over semantics. The first U.S. doses were administered Monday, and the pace is expected to increase next week, as a vaccine from Moderna gets approved and shipped.
New Milwaukee-area Clinic Focuses on Experimental Drug
Evers also announced the Alternate Care Facility in West Allis will be opening an outpatient Bamlanivimab Infusion Clinic next week. Bamlanivimab was authorized for emergency use last month—and Wisconsin hospitals started receiving initial doses—because of its potential for a decreased rate of hospitalizations for certain categories of high-risk patients who receive it soon after testing positive, before they would need to be hospitalized.
The Bamlanivimab Infusion Clinic will have the capacity to serve up to 84 patients per week, and will be set up in a separate area, distant from the inpatient area of the alternate care facility. Patients must be directly referred from a health system or individual hospital.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.