Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday that the state could receive up to 50,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses within 10 days.
It wasn’t clear Wednesday how many of those doses would come to Northwest Missouri.
“Missouri can expect, I’m told, up to 50,000 doses this month, in fact within the next 10 days,” Hawley said. “This is a huge success story, but there’s no time to waste here. So I think we’ve got to proceed carefully, but as quickly as reasonably possible and get that vaccine deployed widely.”
The 50,000 doses wouldn’t be enough to vaccinate the majority of frontline health-care workers and those in senior living homes. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior services, those groups of people will be first in line for a dose.
According to a DHSS plan for distributing the vaccine, there are about 425,000 health-care workers in the state and another one million members of the public who are 65 or older.
Pfizer’s vaccine, the first scheduled for approval in the United States, requires two doses. A vaccine from Moderna, which also is expected to be approved this month, also requires two doses.
A spokesperson for DHSS didn’t respond to questions from News-Press NOW about how many doses from the first round of distribution are expected to end up in Northwest Missouri. About 4,000 employees work at Mosaic Life Care’s St. Joseph campus, according to previous reporting.
There are 11 other hospitals in Northwest Missouri, according to DHSS reports.
Approval for the Pfizer vaccine is expected to come next Thursday from federal regulators. Doses in the United Kingdom may already have been distributed by then, as regulators approved the vaccine in that country on Wednesday.
Hawley told News-Press NOW he’s happy with the pace U.S. regulators have struck.
“I think they’re moving with all deliberate speed,” Hawley said. “This has been a great success in terms of the vaccine being developed so rapidly. Not just one, but several different vaccines.”
Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser to the U.S. government’s effort to develop coronavirus vaccines, said in a CNN interview over the weekend that the first doses could be administered in the United States on Dec. 11.
Hawley questions company about its role in Oxycontin overdoses
On Tuesday, Hawley sent a letter McKinsey & Company over “bounties” the company allegedly proposed to pay to pharmacies for opioid overdoses.
According to reporting in The New York Times, the consulting company suggested giving “rebates” to pharmacies for every overdose linked to Oxycontin. Hawley said he plans to hold a hearing in a subcommittee he chairs on the issue.
Expect tough questioning of president-elect's cabinet picks
Joe Biden should prepare his nominees to face detailed scrutiny during the confirmation process if he is sworn in, Hawley also said. Hawley said the Senate shouldn’t “fast track” any of Biden’s nominees because the electoral college hasn’t met yet.
“I don’t know why the Senate would start fast-tracking nominees,” he said.
The Electoral College will meet on Dec. 14. Hawley hasn’t acknowledged Biden’s victory, though fellow Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse and others have, according to Axios.