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States turn down, scale back vaccine shipment as demand flattens

Louisiana this week stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of vaccine doses.

Updated: April 23, 2021 - 8:05am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Some states are asking for fewer COVID-19 vaccines as their supply outpaces demand.

Louisiana this week stopped asking the federal government for its full allotment of vaccine doses, three-quarters of Kansas counties have turned away new shipments of the vaccine within the last month, and Mississippi has asked the government to ship the vaccine in smaller packages, so they don't go to waste, according to the Associated Press.

"If you’re in New York City, and you’re sending a package to one of the large pharmacies in downtown Manhattan, there are literally millions and millions of people within walking distance most likely of that particular pharmacy," Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said in a news conference in early April. "Well, if you’re in rural Itta Bena, Mississippi, that’s just not the case."

The dwindling demand for the vaccine comes as President Biden announced Thursday of reaching his goal of 200 million vaccine shots administered during his first 100 days in office. At least half of adult Americans have received one shot of the vaccine, with 80 percent of those 65 and older having received their shot.

"Nobody was coming," Robin Jackson, a pharmacist in a small Mississippi town told the wire service. "And I mean no one."

Pharmacists and others say people in rural areas are either skeptical of taking the vaccine or just not interested in getting it.