Other US states are reporting similar dilemmas, where vaccine supply has far exceeded current demand.
NORFOLK, Va. — Joining other states, Virginia health officials are reporting a vaccine stockpile totaling nearly three-quarters of a million doses, while vaccination rates are trending downward.
“There are just fewer people to vaccinate. A lot of states are in that position,” Christy Gray told 13News Now on Monday.
Gray is the director of the Virginia Department of Health’s Division of Immunization.
According to data from VDH, there are 746,723 doses of COVID-19 vaccines available in the Commonwealth. It is a combination of the three approved brands.
The Associated Press has already reported this dilemma in other states like Michigan, North Carolina and Illinois.
With demand as it is, Virginia stock’s priority is to find its way into the arms of Virginians and not be used in distribution to help other states with their vaccination efforts, according to Gray.
“If we hear through our federal partners that there is a state that has a need, we work to redistribute it, there just hasn’t been a demand for it recently,” he said. she stated.
The current stock is not only in place to continue reaching unvaccinated Virginians, but it also provides the state with a “game plan” in case additional booster doses are needed to combat waning immunity. .
Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla said in an interview over the weekend that a fourth dose of their vaccine may be needed for future variants.
Gray said it’s unclear at this time if an additional booster dose would mean vaccine developers would create a new variant-specific booster, or if the same vials of vaccine they administered for the injections previous ones would be distributed again.
In this case, having more stock gives Virginia an advantage if it becomes necessary.