Skip to main content

Walz furious after report fed government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

A furious Gov. Tim Walz slammed the federal government after a report by The Washington Post claimed that the so-called "reserve" of COVID-19 vaccines being held back for second doses doesn't actually exist.

The Washington Post report released Friday says that despite Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announcing earlier this week that the government would begin releasing vaccines it had held back for second shots, these doses had actually been sent out starting in early December and none remain in reserve.

While this report has yet to be officially confirmed by the government, it sparked anger from Gov. Tim Walz at a Friday press conference, describing it as "egregious," a "catastrophe," and said it's "unimaginable" that states have been lied to.

"Where'd they go? Who's going to be prosecuted for this?" he said.

In a tweet, Walz added: "This is appalling. Minnesotans are sick of false promises from the Trump Administration. After promising a surge of doses, the Administration is now pulling out the rug from under our seniors, teachers, and every Minnesotan eagerly awaiting the vaccine."

Walz had been among the governors encouraging the Trump Administration to release its vaccine reserves so as many people can receive their 1st dose of the vaccine as possible, with the incoming Biden Administration indicating it would do this once the new president is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

But now, as the WaPo reports, states and health systems that had been expecting their incoming vaccines to double next week are "confronting the reality that their allocations will remain largely flat."

What's more, with the supply of vaccines still limited, Walz now worries that some of those who have already had their first dose will not get their second dose on time, saying he's "not sleeping" out of concern that this will happen.

Minnesota has been promised more than 624,000 vaccine doses by the CDC, of which just over 404,000 have been received by providers in the state.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

But there have been logistical and administrative challenges with getting people vaccinated in a timely manner, with MPR reporting that among the identified problems are regulations governing who is able to give the shots.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune reported Thursday that in long-term care facilities between 30-60% of staff members eligible to receive the shot are refusing it for now, citing concerns about side effects.

The CDC says any side effects are typically mild and disappear after a few days at most, while allergic reactions are rare.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced that providers will now be allowed to vaccinate those aged 65 and older. Until now, vaccines have been earmarked for healthcare workers and long-term care residents.

However, this announcement was made before The Washington Post report revealed a lack of vaccine reserves. It's unclear if this changes the guidance, with MDH telling Bring Me The News that more details on the updated guidance should be released Saturday.

Next Up

money hundred dollar bills

Chanhassen psychologist pleads guilty to $550K billing fraud

Charles Howard Jorenby, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud in U.S. District Court late last month.

police lights squad car

Charges: Coon Rapids man had 25 pounds of cocaine from Mexico

Luis Javier Avila-Lopez, 38, was arrested after law enforcement seized the cocaine earlier this year.

Screen Shot 2022-12-04 at 9.16.52 AM

Responding to Twitter release, former Minnesota GOP candidate calls for 'bullets'

It was in response to a thread on Twitter concerning the social media giant's moderation efforts regarding political issues.

snow

NWS: 'Safe to say' more active weather is ahead

Three rounds of light snow around Minnesota before more substantial precipitation becomes a possibility.

7F060B54-5776-4E1A-A42C-F36C22FAF493

Hero dad who stopped carjacker who fled with his kids identified

A GoFundMe has been set up to support Derek Gotchie and his family following the incident.

Screen Shot 2022-12-03 at 4.35.18 PM

Watch: New London-Spicer wins 3A championship on incredible walk-off TD

New London-Spicer defeated the unbeaten Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in remarkable circumstances.

MoorheadMurderSuspect

Suspect in woman's killing in Moorhead is arrested

James Kollie Jr. was arrested Friday evening.

Jennifer Carnahan

Former chair Jennifer Carnahan sues Minnesota GOP, which is suing her back

Carnahan stepped down under a cloud of controversy in August 2021.

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

Related

vaccine, covid

Walz, Whitmer, and Evers call on Trump Admin. to buy more vaccines

It comes after The Washington Post reported that the country's COVID vaccine reserves have been exhausted.

covid-19, vaccine

Walz among 8 governors calling on federal govt. to send out more vaccines

Walz says that 50% of produced vaccines are being held back.

Walz

Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz announces COVID-19 vaccine changes

Vaccines will be made available to all adults from Tuesday.

covid, vaccine

Walz: Vaccines available to all Minnesota adults from March 30

Minnesota's vaccine supply is set to increase rapidly.

covid, vaccine

Vaccines for all: Walz says at-risk Minnesotans should still be prioritized

All Minnesota adults will be able to get COVID vaccines starting Tuesday.

Vaccine COVID

MDH expands COVID guidance, urges providers to vaccinate the 65+

More vaccine guidance will be provided in the coming days.

Walz

Walz says state will soon announce next COVID vaccine priority groups

In a "short time," the governor expects to be able to give all Minnesotans an approximate date for when they'll be able to get the vaccine.