Biden administration will increase weekly Covid vaccine shipments to states, pharmacies

Employees move boxes of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine as they prepare for shipment at Pfizer Global Supply’s Kalamazoo manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan on December 13, 2020.

Morry Gash | AFP | Getty Images

Biden’s administration is increasing the number of Covid-19 vaccine doses sent weekly to states, sending out 13.5 million doses this week and doubling the number of vaccine doses going to retail pharmacies, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday.

As of last week, the government has been shipping 11 million cans to states every week. Overall, Psaki said, the government has increased the number of cans shipped to states weekly by 57% since President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Jan. 20.

Psaki also announced that the White House is doubling the number of cans it will ship direct to retail pharmacies across the country, expanding from 1 million cans to 6,500 pharmacies last week. Psaki said the White House will deliver 2 million cans a week to stores in the future and plans to eventually expand to 40,000 stores across the country.

“This program will expand access to neighborhoods across the country so people can call and make an appointment to get their picture conveniently and quickly,” she said. “This is a critical, critical part of our plan.”

The government has announced a gradual increase in the amount of vaccine distributed each week, while opening new distribution channels such as pharmacies, community health centers and state-run vaccination centers. After a slower-than-expected initial launch of the vaccine, many states are now saying the lack of supply from the federal government is the biggest limitation.

The rate of vaccination across the country has increased in recent weeks, and the difference between administered and administered doses has narrowed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 52.8 million doses had been administered as of Sunday out of 70 million doses given to states.

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