NEW HAVEN, Conn. — While many, who were among the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines, are now scheduled to receive their second shot, the vaccination process is not going as smoothly as planned for Yale-New Haven Health, the fourth largest hospital system in the country.
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), who visited YNHH Monday, to learn more about their distribution and challenges, says one of the problems the hospital system is finding is that they don’t have enough Covid vaccines and there’s no certainty as to how many doses they’ll receive each week.
Murphy is proud that Connecticut is among eight states that have delivered vaccines to at least 2% of their population to this point. But he says he’s going to press the incoming Biden administration to expand the number of manufacturers of these vaccines.
"President-elect Biden has already talked about invoking the Defense Production Act to require more manufacturers to make vaccines," Murphy said.
President Donald Trump, of course, had some major manufacturers transform their plants to help build the national stockpile of ventilators last spring.
"We have learned lessons that we know how to scale this up very quickly, but we need some help in terms of getting the vaccine that we need," said Dr. Hari Deshpande, an Oncologist with of Yale Medicine.
He says perhaps three-quarters of the 16,000 vaccines administered to front line workers across Yale-New Haven Health were produced by Moderna.
"We received another just shy of 5,000 this morning and we are scheduled to deliver all of them in the next five days," Deshpande said.
Some Yale-New Haven Health employees are among those reticent to receive the vaccines. One of the reasons, Deshpande says, is misinformation about what’s in the vaccine.
"This vaccine is actually one of the cleanest vaccines ever developed by humans," Deshpande added. "There are very few ingredients. They are all safe."
Deshpande notes Yale is beginning to administer the second dose of the vaccine this week and says those, who initially chose not to receive the vaccine, will remain on the employees' invite list.