In a major shift of national policy, the Biden Administration advised states Tuesday that those states that are receiving an excess supply of coronavirus vaccines because demand has ebbed will now have their pre-ordered doses kept in a federal reserve to be distributed to states in need of vaccines.
According to the Washington Post, the Administration will allot supplies on a weekly basis depending on demand trends, a shift in the way vaccines were previously allocated, in which the federal depository was distributed based on population.
Recently, however, demand in some states, primarily those governed by Republicans, have seen demand for vaccines drop; Arkansas, for example, declined its entire allocation of vaccines last week. Other states, such as California, are seeing demand outstrip supply.
The new system will allow vaccine distribution to be more agile to respond to increasing demand. It provides input from pharmacies and other retail locations that are administering the shots, so that the pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS can direct supplies to stores where there is high demand. Pharmacies are currently administering about 50% of the vaccinations.