9 governors asked Biden to fix 'unnecessary confusion' created by the CDC's vaccine reporting

Jim Watson/AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden.

A group of governors asked President Joe Biden in a letter on Monday to clear up confusion caused by the government’s COVID-19 vaccine reporting.

Nine members of the National Governors Association Executive Committee — Andrew Cuomo of New York, Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Jared Polis of Colorado, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan — told Biden that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus-vaccine tracking had “created unnecessary confusion.”

The CDC’s tracker shows the number of vaccines distributed to each state and the number actually given to people, but that doesn’t reflect the reality, the governors wrote.

The federal government is distributing vaccines to states and territories through multiple programs, such as a program for pharmacies to deliver vaccines to nursing homes and two new programs for select pharmacies and federally qualified health centres to administer vaccines. Those efforts, the governors said, are “beyond the states’ control.”

Therefore, they said, “it is important that the CDC in its reporting distinguish between these separate efforts to avoid confusion and provide a clear understanding to the American people.”

The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

“We are discussing these important issues around data and reporting with our nation’s governors on an ongoing basis,” a White House representative told Insider. “Our strong partnership with states over the last several weeks is helping us vaccinate more people, and we look forward to continuing to be a strong, receptive federal partner as we work with the relevant stakeholders to improve our data and reporting. Our goal is to get more shots in the arms of Americans as equitably and efficiently as possible.”

Since the CDC authorised two COVID-19 vaccines in December, states have been tasked with creating rollout plans. Some, such as North Dakota and South Dakota, have progressed more quickly, while others have struggled to keep up with demand during the pandemic.


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The governors also asked Biden to coordinate with states and territories on which pharmacies and health centres get vaccine doses. States know where vaccines are needed and how well-equipped some locations are to distribute them, they said. The governors added that without coordination, the federal government could cause “redundancy and inefficiency.”

The administration last week rolled out a program that aims to deliver 1 million vaccine doses to 6,500 pharmacies, with the hope of eventually expanding to 40,000 locations.

On Monday, it rolled out another program to deliver vaccines to federally qualified health centres, which generally provide care to underserved populations. The White House said the program would be open to at least one health centre per state at first and expand to 250 locations in the coming weeks. People could receive the vaccine when it’s their turn for free at these locations.

About 38 million people in the US have received at least one shot of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines, according to CDC data. The administration has predicted that the country could be headed toward herd immunity by the early fall.

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