MADISON, Wis. (AP): With more than 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines available, U.S. health authorities said they’re confident there will be enough for both qualified older Americans seeking booster shots and the young children for whom initial vaccines are expected to be approved in the not-too-distant future.
The spike in demand — expected following last week’s federal recommendation on booster shots — would be the first significant jump in months. More than 70 million Americans remain unvaccinated despite the enticement of lottery prizes, free food or gifts and pleas from exhausted health care workers as the average number of deaths per day climbed to more than 1,900 in recent weeks.
Federal and state health authorities said the current supply and steady production of more doses can easily accommodate those seeking boosters or initial vaccination, avoiding a repeat of the frustratingly slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the country early this year.
“I hope that we have the level of interest in the booster … that we need more vaccines,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday. “That’s simply not where we are today. We have plenty of vaccines.”
Robust supply in the U.S enabled President Joe Biden this week to promise an additional 500 million of Pfizer’s COVID-19 shots to share with the world, doubling the United States’ global contribution. Aid groups and health organizations have pushed the U.S. and other countries to improve vaccine access in countries where even the most vulnerable people haven’t had a shot.