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U.S. faces COVID-19 vaccine surplus as demand slows

U.S. faces COVID vaccine surplus as demand slows
U.S. faces surplus of COVID vaccine as demand slows 02:19

Philadelphia is experiencing a surplus scare. With thousands of coronavirus vaccine doses expiring on Thursday, the city is scrambling to ship them to other distribution sites so it won't be forced to discard them. 

"The city has a lot of vaccines in cold storage that do have to get used in a very short timeline," said Charlie Elison, a FEMA spokesperson. 

Philadelphia officials are hoping to vaccinate more people by keeping sites open later to attract walk-ups for those who don't have an appointment. 

Meanwhile, more shots are sitting unused across the country.  

For the first time since March 22, the U.S. is averaging less than 2.5 million vaccinations a day. Vaccinations are down nearly 25% after peaking on April 11. 

COVID-19 Vaccine
A healthcare worker fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Blandon, Pennsylvania, on April 14, 2021. Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty

Oregon is experiencing a new COVID-19 surge, triggering restrictions that include a ban on indoor dining. 

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee tweeted that "COVID-19 is no longer a health emergency in our state" because of "a widely available vaccine." But less than 25% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. 

In Lubbock, Texas, the city's director of public health Katherine Wells said there are a lot of empty chairs at a mass vaccination site. Vaccine hesitancy remains high and turnout is low. 

"This is going to be an uphill battle," Wells said. "I really kind of see us in this time crunch of trying to get people vaccinated before we see some of these other variants." 

A nationwide coalition of health care providers is targeting those hesitant to get the vaccine by running an ad with the message: "This is our shot to save lives." 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled new findings Wednesday showing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 94% effective in preventing hospitalizations among fully vaccinated adults 65 and older. 

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