Hospitals Are Getting Their Missing Second Doses
Maryland hospitals are finally getting second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine they were supposed to get over the past two weeks.
Bob Atlas, President & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association, says that hospitals are no longer short on their allocated second doses. The late second doses started arriving at the end of last week.
Acting state health secretary Dennis Schrader blamed the delay on the federal government. But Atlas says the cause is still not clear.
“I didn't get enough information to be able to have a complete story of what exactly happened,” Atlas said. “All I know is that a fix was created and we're moving on.”
Atlas says he wants more transparency from federal and state governments about vaccine distribution in the future.
“Earlier notice would be great, as would consistency in the supply,” he said. “The numbers kind of go up and down, depending on where the state thinks the doses ought to go in a given week.”
Some hospitals had to give first doses as second doses to their patients because of the delay.
Earlier this year Gov. Larry Hogan warned providers that if they didn’t use 75% of their allocated first doses, future doses would be reduced.
But Atlas said hospitals have now met that quota. He also expects this week’s second doses to arrive on time.
“The bigger issue is simply the scarcity,” he said.
Maryland’s hospitals are now getting a fifth of the 88,000 first doses the state receives in a week. That’s an increase from about 72,000 to 75,000 a week that state had been gettingthroughout January.
“But that’s still not enough,” Atlas said. “And the state is opening up more and more sites to deliver vaccine, notably the new mass vaccination sites that were launched on Friday. And the more outlets you have to distribute the same amount of vaccine, the thinner you end up spreading it.”