Coronavirus Vaccine Reserve Reportedly 'Exhausted' Despite Trump Administration Claims

While President Donald Trump's administration previously claimed that they would be releasing reserved doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, that doesn't appear to be the case. CNN reported that even though the Trump administration claimed that they would be releasing second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine held in reserve, those doses have already been distributed. On Friday, Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar was asked whether there was a reserve of second doses set to be released, and he replied that there is not.

On Tuesday, CNN reported that a senior administration official in the Trump administration said they had plans to release reserved second-doses immediately. Their reported move came after they criticized President-elect Joe Biden's plan to do the same when he gets into office. Operation Warp Speed spokesperson Michael Pratt said on Jan. 8 regarding Biden's announcement about the COVID-19 vaccine, "If President-elect Biden is calling for the distribution of vaccines knowing that there would not be a second dose available, that decision is without science or data and is contrary to the FDA's approved label. If President-elect Biden is suggesting that the maximum number of doses should be made available, consistent with ensuring that the second dose of vaccine will be there when the patient shows up, then that is already happening."

Even though the Trump administration has criticized Biden for that announcement and then later changed course on their own stance regarding the release of second-doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are no doses left in the reserve stockpile. Secretary Azar told NBC's Lester Holt about the topic, "We now have enough confidence that our ongoing production will be quality and available to provide the second dose for people, so we're not sitting on a reserve anymore. We've made that available to the states to order."

In light of this news, Pratt denied reports that this reserve was "exhausted." He released a statement to CNN, which read, "This week, nearly 13 million total doses have been provided to states to order, millions more than other weeks, as the reserve of second doses is completely made available to order against. States have yet to fully order against their ordering caps. As stated this week, we have now moved to the phase where the full amount released to OWS is being made available to order, first to cover second doses, second to provide additional first doses."