“When tiny glass vials of coronavirus vaccine began rolling off production lines late last year, federal health officials set aside a big stash for nursing homes being ravaged by the virus,” Sharon LaFraniere, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Abby Goodnough write over at The New York Times. “Health providers around the country figured as well that it was prudent to squirrel away vials to ensure that everyone who got a first dose of vaccine got a second one. Two months later, it is clear both strategies went overboard. Millions of doses wound up trapped in logistical limbo, either set aside for nursing homes that did not need them or stockpiled while Americans clamored in vain for their first doses. Now a national effort is underway to pry those doses loose — and, with luck, give a significant boost to the national vaccination ramp-up. In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has pushed the Biden administration to allow him to claw back 100,000 excess doses that were allocated to the federal program for long-term-care facilities. In Michigan, Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, the chief medical executive, is raiding nursing home doses that she said had been locked in a ‘piggy bank’ controlled by CVS and Walgreens, the two pharmacy chains in charge of the federal initiative. And in Virginia, Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccine coordinator, said he has been ‘wheeling and dealing like on a trading floor’ to free up tens of thousands of doses for the general population.” Sharon LaFraniere, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Abby Goodnough, “Short of vaccines, states find hidden stashes in their own backyards,” The New York Times.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder