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White House to give states long-range Covid vaccine forecasts as influx of doses expected

Currently, states receive three-weeks notice, making it harder to plan.
Image: Coors Field In Colorado Hosts Mass Site For Second Dose Of Covid-19 Vaccination
A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine being prepared during a mass vaccination event in the parking lot of Coors Field in Denver this month.Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The White House will begin giving state governments more notice about how many doses they will be receiving to help officials plan for an expected influx of the Covid-19 vaccines.

Starting next week, states will be told how many doses to expect a month or more into the future. Currently, states receive only a three-week forecast, which is an increase from the one-week notice they had under the Trump administration, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

While governors were warned that the longer-range outlooks could be less concrete and subject to change, officials hope it will allow states to plan better, the person said.

States are bracing for a massive increase of doses as Johnson & Johnson's vaccine is expected to receive emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration by next week, and Pfizer and Moderna are ramping up production of their own vaccines. If the manufacturers meet their targets, the United States could have 4 million doses a day within the next month, up from the 1.5 million shots a day currently being given.

Governors have been concerned they aren’t going to have enough notice about a significant increase in vaccines to be able to hire the staff and expand their vaccination centers to meet such an increase, a top aide for a Democratic governor said. The White House told the governors about the longer-range forecasts on its weekly call with them Tuesday.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has already increased the number of doses going to states by 70 percent. Not all of the new doses, though, will go directly to states to allocate. The federal government has increasingly been sending vaccines to retail pharmacies, community health centers and federally funded mass vaccination centers.

So far, 68 millions Americans have got at least one dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.