The latest COVID-19 vaccines may only be available to highest-risk Americans as funding dries up, Politico reports
- The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines may only be available to high-risk Americans as funding dries up, Politico reported.
- "There's a great deal of concern that we're going to be caught shorthanded," a person close to the situation told Politico.
The next generation of COVID-19 vaccines may only be available to high-risk Americans as funding for the federal response to the pandemic is running out, according to a new report from Politico.
According to Politico reporter Adam Cancryn, the White House is considering rationing future versions of the COVID-19 vaccine — such as one that could be soon available to target the Omicron variant — as cash supplies dwindle.
According to a report from CNBC, the US currently does not have enough money to purchase a new round of vaccines, therapeutics, or testing methods to combat a potential future variant.
"There's a great deal of concern that we're going to be caught shorthanded," a source told Politico.
A representative for the Biden Administration did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
The report says that as early as 2023, the White House could shift funding responsibilities to the private sector, with insurance companies covering the cost instead. But that could leave millions vulnerable if vaccines aren't fully covered for the uninsured.
Congress has been debating an additional $10 billion in funding for COVID-19 — but Republicans haven't supported the measure, putting the new injection of cash in peril.
Politico reported that GOP lawmakers are skeptical of the need for more funding for the virus.
In fact, according to the report, Republicans are waiting to see if Biden will end COVID-era border restrictions — which would allow more immigration at the country's southern border — before agreeing to another funding package.
Even so, if Congress does pass the new funding package, it will only be enough to keep some of the essential COVID-19 programs up and running, as at least half of the funds are owed to Pfizer for supplying 20 million doses of its antiviral treatment, a person familiar with the situation told Politico.
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