Warning of shortages, researchers look to stretch vaccine supply

With the COVID-19 immunization campaign moving much more slowly than anticipated, vaccine makers and federal officials are under pressure to do more with the supply on hand. Potential solutions include potentially cutting doses of the Moderna vaccine in half and using more efficient syringes to squeeze more doses from vials of the Pfizer vaccine.

With the COVID-19 immunization campaign moving much more slowly than anticipated, vaccine makers and federal officials are under pressure to do more with the supply on hand. Potential solutions include potentially cutting doses of the Moderna vaccine in half and using more efficient syringes to squeeze more doses from vials of the Pfizer vaccine. In addition, there is optimism that a single-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson will receive a green light next month, increasing the nation's overall supply. Having enough product is not the primary concern at the moment—more than 15 million doses have been made available, but only 4.5 million people have received them. Rather, the logistics of who should be getting vaccinated, when and how, have tripped up the rollout. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Tuesday directed states to quickly move on to the next priority group if they encounter a lack of demand in the current target population and to move on to another location if demand is absent in the current distribution site. Eventually, however, officials do expect the vaccine supply to dry up, making it important to find ways now to stretch out the doses if possible.