Missouri will receive just 58 percent of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine the state originally expected. The Missouri Hospital Association confirmed the figure, which will apply to shipments through December 28.
Instead of the 63,375 estimated doses projected for the seven-day period starting December 21, the state is receiving 37,050.
The reduced amount will mean some rural hospitals will have to wait to vaccinate their staff, according to Dr. Randy Tobler, CEO of the Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Missouri.
Tobler said the state Department of Health and Senior Services informed hospitals on a call Tuesday that it would be re-allocating vaccine to prioritize long-term care facilities and nursing homes, and then healthcare providers. Those settings account for a disproportionate amount of deaths from COVID-19.
Because of the re-allocation, Tobler said he did not expect to receive the order of the Moderna vaccine his hospital had put in. Nevertheless, the shipment of 100 doses did arrive Tuesday afternoon. "I think what happened was probably they were already in transit through the supply chain, through the distributor," Tobler said. "So we slipped in under the wire before they cut off further requests being honored."
Tobler said DHSS confirmed it would not be requisitioning the hospital's shipment. DHSS did not respond to a request for comment by press time. Last week, DHSS Director Randall Williams indicated the state expected to receive between 25 and 30 percent less of the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Other states have also reported receiving fewer vaccines than projected by the federal government through Operation Warp Speed.