More than 56 percent of Americans have received at least one shot, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But in recent weeks, vaccine supply has begun outpacing the demand in some parts of the country. Some states have said they aren’t ordering all their shots allotted each week.
States receive weekly vaccine allotments based on their populations. The new move lets states that don’t order all available doses put them into a pool for other states to order from that week, rather than roll over in the following week. Other states with greater demand for vaccines can request those doses and receive up to 50 percent of their regular allocation. The change won’t affect how much vaccine the state receives the following week.
The Biden administration said it won’t pressure states to forego unused vaccine doses. That decision rests entirely with each individual state, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Biden administration has previously resisted calls to allocate doses based on need rather than population. Notably, it rejected Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request for more doses in March and April to help curb a virus surge in her state.