Some countries ask U.S. for help as states turn down COVID vaccine shipments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than half of all American adults have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Now, some states are turning down COVID-19 vaccine shipments, and that has other countries asking for help.

Louisiana, Kansas, Mississippi and Iowa are among the states reporting they won’t need their full allotment from the government.

“We do believe that there is adequate vaccine supply for everybody to get vaccinated,” said White House’s senior adviser, Andy Slavitt.

In Florida, recent mass vaccination clinics had unclaimed time slots for people.

Health officials worry it’s linked to vaccine hesitancy.

“This vaccine is our ticket to ride; this is our ticket to freedom of returning back to normal life,” said Dr. Mike Saag from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Dwindling demand in the U.S. is being noticed by countries like India and Brazil, which are in the midst of full-blown medical emergencies.

“Obviously, India is going through a very terrible situation right now. Yesterday, they had the largest number of cases that has ever been reported by any country,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

To date, the Biden administration has been reluctant to share, wanting to make sure the U.S. is covered first.

But that’s starting to change, with the U.S. sending doses to some countries.

“We need to build supply chains that remain open at this very critical time. This is a time for global solidarity,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist with the World Health Organization.

The White House stated Monday it will be a few weeks before India can receive vaccine doses from the U.S.