Short of vaccine, states find hidden stashes in their own backyards

With COVID-19 demand high and supply still low in some pockets of the country, some see stores of unused doses set aside for nursing homes as fair game.

With COVID-19 demand high and supply still low in some pockets of the country, some see stores of unused doses set aside for nursing homes as fair game. The intent was to ensure adequate vaccine to provide a booster to long-term care residents who received a first dose, but instead many supplies have remained unused even as vaccination waiting lists have filled up. By the government's own estimate, as many as 6 million doses are being hoarded unnecessarily as second doses, despite reassurance that vaccine production is stable. Even so, state health officials are moving to free up some of this supply in order to immunize more members of the general population and reduce the gap between the number of doses distributed to states and the number actually administered. At least 20 states are tapping into doses previously earmarked for long-term care facilities. The numbers are already improving, according to CDC, which says more than three-quarters of delivered doses are now being used, vs. fewer than one-half of the doses late last month.