Arizona to get 28,000 fewer vaccine doses next week

Arizona is expected to receive 28,000 fewer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for the week of Dec. 20, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Dr. Cara Christ with AZDHS announced Arizona will not be getting the full expected amount of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for Dec. 20.

Arizona still expects to receive just under 42,000 doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech, along with nearly 120,000 doses of a vaccine from Moderna, said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. The Moderna vaccine received emergency authorization from the federal government Friday night.

The order for allocation of the Pfizer vaccine has changed, cutting it to less than half the amount.

"Initial allocation indicated that Arizona would be receiving approximately 70,200 doses of Pfizer vaccines for the week of 12-20. That ordering opening was delayed and now our allocation was just opened and it appears to be 41,925 doses that are available for Arizona."

Dr. Christ says they have reached out to the CDC for clarification on the order, but they have yet to reply. It’s also not clear if the missing doses will be made up with larger allocations than expected later in the month, she said.

Arizona began vaccinating health care workers in Maricopa and Pima counties this week, the first stage of the largest mass vaccination effort in history. Next week’s reduced vaccine doses won’t affect plans to begin vaccination in Arizona’s other 13 counties, Christ said.

The state received all 58,500 doses expected this week, Christ said, but she didn’t yet have a number for how many doses were administered. Pima County expected to vaccinate 1,850 people by the end of Friday, far ahead of the 1,000 medical workers that its vaccination plan called for, said Spencer Graves, logistics manager for the county’s public health department. But the shortfall in Pfizer vaccines next week may slow the pace, he said.

Arizona hospitals expect to see shipments of the newly-approved Moderna vaccine as early as Dec. 21.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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