Florida's Ron DeSantis claims vaccine shipments are 'on hold' — but Pfizer says he's wrong
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that drug maker Pfizer, one of the main manufacturers of COVID vaccines, has directly contradicted the claim from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that shipments of the vaccine are "on hold" to his state.

"Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that Florida could receive less than the 452,000 does of the coronavirus vaccine that the state was expecting because of a 'production issue' on the part of a vaccine manufacturer," reported Kirby Wilson and Steve Contorno. "DeSantis said that two shipments of the vaccine slated to be sent to Florida in the coming weeks are 'on hold right now.'"

This is directly at odds with a statement put out by Pfizer, which states that, “Pfizer is not having any production issues with our COVID-19 vaccine, and no shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed. This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them. We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.”

"DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday," said the report. "DeSantis said Tuesday the state was expecting 205,000 doses of the vaccine to be shipped the week of Dec. 21, followed by 247,000 more the week after."

Pfizer's vaccine, along with a competing vaccine from Moderna, are a daunting logistical challenge for federal and state officials as they try to work out which vulnerable groups have first priority to ensure the least spread of the disease.