President Joe Biden’s administration has run out of money to buy a fourth dose of a COVID vaccine for all Americans, a new report said Tuesday.
Officials said the administration has enough doses to cover a fourth shot for Americans 65 and older in addition to the initial regimen for children under five if those shots are approved. Washington Post.
But the administration has not placed advance orders for additional vaccine doses to other Americans and can only if lawmakers pass a stalled $15 billion funding package.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at Monday’s briefing.
Our concern right now is that we’re going to run out of money to provide the kinds of vaccines and boosters and treatments to the immunocompromised and others for free that will help continue the fight the incremental — you know, the surge or the influx or, you know, the surge of — of COVID in the future. This is where our primary focus is.
And time is of the essence because other countries are in the process of placing their own vaccine orders and frogs could be leaping over US needs.
“Right now, we don’t have enough money for fourth doses, if called for,” White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients will say on the upcoming episode of “In The Bubble With Andy Slavitt,” which was taped Monday and shared with Washington. Post. “We don’t have the funding, if we need a specific vaccine in the future.”
The Biden administration has run out of money to buy a fourth dose of a covid vaccine for all Americans: “Our primary concern right now is that the funding is about to run out,” said White House press secretary Jen Pasaki.
The Food and Drug Administration has not deemed a fourth shot necessary, but administration officials warn that there are not enough doses in place just in case.
Officials also point to wanting to be prepared in case another variant — like last year’s omicron — rushes across the country.
It is estimated that the administration will need to purchase another 750 million doses of Covid vaccine to be ready.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers about 65 percent of Americans, or approximately 217 million people, to be “fully vaccinated.” About 97 million Americans have received a booster dose, about 29% of the population.
Meanwhile, congressional leaders are still working out how to pass more hunger among Republicans who oppose it and Democrats who are concerned about how to pay for it.
Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surprisingly snatched $15.6 billion in pandemic relief from a bill that funds the federal government after Democrats rebelled over how it would be paid.
With Republicans refusing to support any new pandemic funding, Democrats have decided to take money from existing programs, including the $7 billion earmarked under last year’s $1.9 trillion Coronavirus Aid Act to help state governments.
That sparked outrage from many Democrats, who objected to paying for response efforts by cutting government funding.
Funding in the pandemic bill has been cut from the $22.5 billion that President Joe Biden’s administration wanted, to $15.6 billion.
House Democrats think they have a path forward with an additional round of crowdfunding, but the likely stop will be in the Senate, where Democrats will need at least 10 Republicans to vote with to secure passage.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that the GOP is concerned about how it will be paid for.
McConnell said Republicans will consider the administration’s request, but said they have to use “some of that massive amount of money that was spent last year that hasn’t come up yet. So let’s take a look at how we pay for it, and we’ll be happy to decide whether or not we support it.”
President Joe Biden’s administration is seeking an additional $15.6 billion in COVID funding
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers about 65 percent of Americans, or approximately 217 million people, to be “fully vaccinated.”
Administration officials told the Associated Press that only about $300 billion of last year’s $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief measures were not spent or legally committed to a specific program or recipient.
But administration officials said about $240 billion of that has been pledged to designated recipients like states and cities, who put the amounts into their budgets. The administration has held up some of the rest for emergencies.