Federal officials are reducing Oregon's doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 40% next week, Gov. Kate Brown announced this afternoon.
Her comments came several hours after Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the U.S. Centers for Disase Control and Prevention had told him his state was getting its vaccine shipments shaved by 40%.
Oregon will receive 15,600 fewer doses of the vaccine next week. Oregon health officials had noted that reduction in a press release last night, but it was little noted until Inslee's remarks this morning.
"Like Washington and other states, Oregon was informed by [the CDC] that our Pfizer vaccine allocation for next week has been cut by 40%," Brown wrote on Twitter. "This was a federal decision, and I am seeking answers from the CDC about the reliability of the data we are receiving from week to week as Oregon builds our vaccine distribution plan. We need accurate information to make sure Oregonians are receiving COVID-19 vaccinations as quickly as possible."
The Trump administration blamed the reduction on production problems at Pfizer, the vaccine's manufacturer. The pharmaceutical giant said that was a lie: "We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses."
Brown's office said the reduction in vaccines is cutting into the Dec. 20 shipment of Pfizer doses.
"The allocation of 25,350 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech now scheduled to arrive in Oregon the week of Dec. 20 is a reduction from the original amount of 40,950 Oregon was previously scheduled to have allocated during that week," the Oregon Health Authority said in a Dec. 16 statement. Federal officials notified the state about the change today.
On Wednesday, the agency said just 4,875 doses had actually arrived in Oregon—a far lower figure than OHA director Pat Allen had previously announced.
Last night, Allen apologized. "Earlier today, I was imprecise in describing the number of doses currently on the ground in Oregon," he said. "I take responsibility for my inaccuracy. As we move forward, it's vital that the Oregon Health Authority is fully transparent, accurate, reliable and consistent in all aspects of our vaccination program, especially our data. I pledge that I will do better."
OHA spokesman Jonathan Modie says the number of doses delivered to Oregon remains at 4,875.