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More than 20 states not ordering all available doses as COVID-19 vaccinations slow

National News

A nurse takes a Moderna Covid-19 vaccines ready to be administered at a vaccination site at Kedren Community Health Center, in South Central Los Angeles, California on February 16, 2021. (Photo by Apu GOMES / AFP) (Photo by APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)

As the pace of vaccinations continues to slow across the country, more than 20 states are not ordering all the available COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to them by the federal government, according to a CBS News tally. 

The figure is the latest sign of lessening demand for vaccinations around the country, as health officials shift from triaging a flood of people clamoring for the shots to targeting harder-to-reach communities. 

CBS News reached out to health departments in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and among the 38 states that responded, 22 said they weren’t ordering all the doses available to them for the week of May 3.

In Arkansas, no new doses were ordered for the first time since the nationwide vaccination campaign began, citing an ample supply of doses. Among the states that responded, it was the only state to unilaterally pause new orders. South Carolina declined to order new doses of Pfizer and Moderna but did accept new doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Texas ordered its full allocation but noted they’ll use those doses this week “and beyond” as the state moves to order new doses when vaccine providers like local hospitals and health departments request them. South Dakota is implementing a similar “order-on-demand” system.

Just eight states have reported giving less than 70% of their delivered supply of first doses, according to CDC figures. Of those states, only Alabama, which has the second smallest share of its residents fully vaccinated out of all states, said they had placed orders up to their full allocation this week. Mississippi, which has the smallest percentage, did not.

Local providers have also rolled out new efforts to bring shots to residents, from mobile vaccine vans roaming New York City to mobile clinics launched by Walgreens in Chicago.

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