The CNMI expects to receive a shipment of over 13,000 COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc. today, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. chief executive officer Esther Muña.
The shipment, totaling 13,360 vials, includes the 9,360 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 4,000 Moderna Inc. vaccines.
As of March 4, 15% of the CNMI’s population has already received their second doses. Muña said that CHCC expects to see an increase in these numbers as they continue to vaccinate those on their second doses.
With 13,360 vaccines that are coming in, approximately half of that would be reserved for second doses. This is intended to avoid any future problems for those who need their second doses, in case of any potential delays in the shipment of vaccines to the CNMI. As shown in the recent case of Guam, it was reported that 7,000 people were awaiting their second doses. According to media reports, Guam’s COVID-19 vaccines ran out last Friday before 7,000 individuals could get their second vaccination dose this week.
The Joint Information Center in Guam recently announced that vaccinations are to resume next week. Guam is expected to also receive their new vaccine allocation this week.
JIC said that with this allocation, Guam will only administer doses to those who are due for their second dose. JIC assured the postponed second dose appointments won’t affect the effectiveness of the vaccine, and individuals won’t be required to restart the two-dose vaccine series.
JIC said the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention said that if it is not possible to administer the second dose within 21 (Pfizer) or 28 (Moderna) days, then the vaccine can be administered up to six weeks, or 42 days, after the first dose.