WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is asking states to speed up the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to people aged 65 and over and other high-risk people by no longer withholding the second dose of double-dose shots, officials said Tuesday. .
Health and Humanitarian Services Secretary Alex Hazard said “the US administration has been too closely focused.”
As a result, he said, the Trump administration now asks states to vaccinate people aged 65 and over and those under 65 with concomitant health conditions that put them at high risk. He said vaccine production was such that the second dose of the double vaccine could be released without compromising immunization for those who received the first shot.
“We now believe that our production is predictable enough to ensure that second doses are available to people in current production,”
Each country has its own plan for who should be vaccinated based on recommendations from federal disease control centers. The CDC’s recommendations give paramount importance to health professionals and residents of nursing homes.
But the slow spread of the vaccine has disappointed many Americans as coronavirus deaths continue to rise. More than 376,000 people have died, according to the John Hopkins database.
Hazard said it was time to move “to the next phase of the vaccination program” and expand the scope of those eligible for the first dose.
It also means expanding the number of places where people can be vaccinated by adding public health centers and additional pharmacies.
“We have already distributed more vaccines than we have health workers and people in nursing homes,” Hazard said. “We need to reach more administrative channels. We have to take it to pharmacies, take it to community health centers. “
He said the federal government would “deploy teams to support states that make mass vaccination efforts if they wish.”
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to deliver a speech Thursday outlining his plan to speed up the vaccination of more people in the first part of his administration. His transition team has promised to release as many doses of vaccine as possible, instead of continuing the Trump administration’s policy of withholding millions of doses to ensure there are enough to allow those who receive the first shot to receive a second. .
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a second shot about three weeks after the first vaccination. Another vaccine, the one produced by Moderna, requires a re-launch about four weeks later. Disposable vaccines are still being tested.