Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking to buy more doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine directly from the company, despite a growing surplus in the state.
“This direct purchase will fill a two-week lag in supply and ensure that we can continue to ramp up our vaccination efforts across Michigan. It is also consistent with Operation Warp Speed’s commitment to deliver a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to Americans as quickly as possible,” Whitmer said in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Whitmer blamed “inconsistent and confusing information from federal officials” for the state’s slow rollout of the vaccine in the state.
Via the Free Press:
Data released Monday morning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show Michigan is 40th when it comes to administering doses per 100,000 people. The site states 765,900 doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the state, with 222,379 doses administered.
Whitmer and state health officials have repeatedly said the federal data does not tell the whole story. State data updated Monday afternoon shows 829,200 doses shipped as of Sunday and 233,095 doses administered, which is a rate of about 28.1%.
Last week, CDC data showed Michigan ranked among the worst states for administering the vaccine, better than only Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
At that point, just 27 percent of the doses had been given to residents. Whitmer said she would “loosen restrictions” so more inoculations could be offered.
Three weeks ago, she was also blaming the federal government.
“My frustration level is high because in Portage there are vaccines ready to be distributed,” Whitmer said in mid-December, according to WDIV. “And the thing standing between us seeing that through is the federal government and I can’t get an answer why.”
“The governor and her administration must do better,” state Rep. Graham Filler (R) said in a statement. “The governor has shut us down and stated things will open up once the vaccine is available. Now, a vaccine is available, and she won’t follow through on the plan to get it out.”