Mass. Officials: Next Pfizer Vaccine Shipment Will Be Reduced By Nearly 1/3

By Jason Hall

December 18, 2020

The next shipment of the Pfizer vaccine to Massachusetts will reportedly be reduced by nearly 1/3 from the initial shipment.

State officials confirmed the commonwealth will receive 42,900 doses after initially receiving 60,000 this week, a spokeswoman for the state's Command Center, which handles the COVID-19 crisis, confirmed to the Boston Globe.

The spokeswoman said the federal government notified more than a dozen states nationwide, including Massachusetts, that the upcoming shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in its second week of distribution would be reduced.

The reduction has created concerns about a potential delay in shots for health care workers and long-term care residents, who are part of the initial phase of vaccine distribution.

The Massachusetts Command Center did not provide an immediate explanation of why the shipments were being reduced, or whether the reductions would affect the ongoing first shipment of the vaccine, which began last Sunday (December 13.)

Pfizer, which developed the first approved and distributed COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with German biotech BioNTech, released a statement denying any production or distribution issues in relation to the vaccine, the Boston Globe reports. The vaccine was authorized for emergency by the Food and Drug Administration last Friday, before shipping out nationwide from Pfizer's plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, two days later.

“Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed,” the company said via the Boston Globe. “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."

Pfizer said it remains confident in its goal to deliver up to 50 million vaccine doses globally by the end of 2020 and 1.3 billion in 2021. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be approved by the FDA for emergency use as early as Friday (December 18,) which would provide more options amid the high demand brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Getty Images

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