February 1, 2021

Biden Administration Announces Efforts To Improve Vaccine Distribution

Last week, the Biden administration announced additional measures to get COVID-19 vaccines to more Americans.

First, the federal government will pursue enhanced agreements with drug companies to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the vaccines. Half of those shots will come from Moderna Inc. and the other half will come from Pfizer Inc. Additionally, for at least the next several weeks, the federal government will allocate about 10 million doses per week to states and other jurisdictions, an increase from 8.6 million doses. It also will inform states of their coming vaccine allocation three weeks ahead of time, instead of one week, allowing more time for states to plan distribution.

The Biden administration also announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will move to expand the pool of vaccinators, allowing licensed practitioners to administer vaccines across state lines and letting retired doctors and nurses to give shots.

As a reminder, each individual U.S. state is still empowered to make key decisions, including which businesses are “essential” to the economy and how to distribute the two COVID-19 vaccines that currently are on the market. That is why, in a free webinar offered to MSCI members in early January, Dr. Mark McClellan, former administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a former FDA commissioner, urged industrial metals industry leaders to engage with their state and local lawmakers about vaccine distribution, and even to consider asking whether individual companies might be able to work with government officials to hold vaccination events. (MSCI members can find the webinar here.)

As a reminder, the National Association of Wholesalers and Littler Law Firm are both keeping track of each state’s distribution system. Click here and here to access those resources. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers also have provided additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Click here to view the U.S. Chamber’s information and click here to access the NAM information.