Pennsylvania is facing a shortage of the Moderna vaccine coronavirus booster shots after healthcare providers mistakenly used them as first doses of the vaccine, another stumbling block for the state’s already rocky vaccine rollout initiative.
The mistake could result in rescheduled appointments for more than 100,000 individuals, state officials said Wednesday.
Roughly 30,000-60,000 appointments to receive the actual booster shot will now need to be pushed back several weeks and, the delivery of 30,000-55,000 additional doses of the Moderna vaccine will now be delayed, according to the state’s acting health secretary.
The state Health Department says it is still working to determine “root causes” of the logistical errors that led to this significant mishap. But, a key part of the issue seems to have stemmed from initial vaccine shipments that were not clearly labeled as first and second doses.
Nationwide, Pennsylvania is currently ranked 46th in terms of shots administered per 100,000 people, and 47th by percentage of doses that have been administered compared to number of allocated vaccine doses.
Some state politicians have called on the private sector to come up with an effective vaccination plan, given that the Pennsylvania Health Department has failed to come up with an effective distribution method. State senator John Yudichak, an independent who caucuses with state Republicans, said that Democratic Governor Tom Wolf should move to appoint a “logistics czar” to oversee the state’s vaccine distribution efforts.
The current shortage and booster shot confusion does not impact doses of the Pfizer vaccine.