DOVER, Del. (CBS/AP) — Delaware officials are delaying plans for the third phase of the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution because of short supplies of the vaccine. Officials said Tuesday that the postponement is due to “extremely limited” vaccine supply and the large number of eligible Delawareans who have not been vaccinated in the second phase of the vaccine distribution plan.
Officials had planned to begin Phase 1C by March 1 but now say they intend to start it “as close to March 1 as possible.”READ MORE: 'A Game Changer': CDC Recommends Johnson & Johnson's 1-Dose COVID Vaccine, Paving Way For Distribution To Begin
People eligible to get the vaccine in Phase 1C include people under age 65 with high-risk medical conditions, which include obesity, diabetes and smoking, and people living in high-risk congregate settings such as prisons, homeless shelters and group homes.
The group also includes “essential workers” who are not among those currently eligible to receive the vaccine in the Phase 1B second round of the state’s plan. Those third-round workers include a wide variety of industries, ranging from transportation and construction to the finance, media and legal sectors.
Delaware remains in Phase 1B, meaning those 65 and older and certain “frontline essential workers” including police, firefighters, teachers, prison staff and grocery workers can get vaccinated. The state began vaccinations in Phase 1A by targeting first responders, staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and emergency medical services agencies.READ MORE: Irv Cross, Former Eagles Star DB And Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
“We’re continuing to press forward with our goal of vaccinating as many Delawareans as possible, as quickly as possible,” said Gov. John Carney. “Supply of the COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government remains our biggest challenge. That’s why we’re focused this week on second doses, especially for vulnerable Delaware seniors. We have the capacity to increase vaccinations as federal supply allows. Until then, continue to wear a mask. Avoid gatherings. Stay vigilant.”
Now, state officials plan to focus on administering second doses of the vaccine to those who received their initial doses at state-run vaccination events last month. They plan to open registration later this week for second-dose vaccinations next week at Delaware Technical Community College campuses in each county.
Meanwhile, officials have requested that the Federal Emergency Management Agency establish a vaccination site at Dover International Speedway for several days later this month to administer second doses to people who received their first doses at state-run mass vaccination events last month. Scheduling has not been confirmed for those second-dose events and is contingent on FEMA approval of the state’s request.
As of Monday, more than 126,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer had been administered in Delaware, about 12,000 less than the number of doses delivered to the state, officials said.MORE NEWS: COVID In Philadelphia: City Easing More Restrictions Monday On Road To Recovery
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