MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT/AP) — Alabama hospitals awaiting their second shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will receive significantly fewer doses than initially anticipated.
“The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has been advised of some reduction of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the second allocation for next week,” Dr. Karen Landers, ADPH assistant state health officer, told CBS 42. “This will not affect persons who are receiving the Pfizer product for their first dose, as the second dose is already allocated.”
The original planned Pfizer allocation for Alabama next week was 48,750 doses. The number of doses included in next week’s shipment has been reduced to 29,250—a 40% decrease.
Alabama is among more than a dozen states who have been told to expect fewer doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in its second week of distribution. The cause behind the delay has not been made clear. Pfizer ruled out issues on their end in a statement Thursday, saying they’ve not experienced out production or distribution problems.
“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,” the company said.
Alabama’s initial allocation of 40,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived Tuesday. Frontline medical workers were among the first to receive the vaccine. State health officials say it will likely be months before vaccinations are made available to the general public.
Friday Alabama reached a record high in new daily coronavirus cases. Staff from Birmingham-area hospitals pleaded with the public in an open letter Wednesday and in a virtual conference Friday to be especially mindful of official health guidelines.
The total number of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines administered as of Friday in Alabama is 4,489. A formal FDA vote to authorize emergency use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is expected later in the day, one week after the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for emergency use.
“If the Moderna vaccine is given an EUA as expected, ADPH expects some hospitals in Alabama to begin receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine next week. Names of hospitals receiving Moderna will be provided in the near future. The expected total allocation of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine planned for Alabama is 83,400 doses,” ADPH said in a statement Friday afternoon.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.