State health departments and governors' offices across the US are finally being told by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Operation Warp Speed how many doses of the coronavirus vaccine they will initially be receiving once the vaccine is authorized -- and it's not enough.
With the Pfizer vaccine emergency use authorization expected later this month, and perhaps also for the Moderna vaccine, states are learning there's not enough for them to fully vaccinate those designated as their first and top priority.
Earlier this week, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the very first batch of Americans to get vaccinated should be frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Together, they add up to about 24 million people.
Federal officials estimate about 40 million vaccine doses will be available by the end of the month if both Moderna and Pfizer get US Food and Drug Administration authorization -- only enough to vaccinate 20 million people in the country, because two doses are needed for each person.