U.S. to expand coronavirus vaccination eligibility

Henrietta Strickland
January 13, 2021

Azar said the federal government would now be recommending that states begin to widen the criteria for who gets vaccinated, starting with people over 65 without health conditions and people under 65 with health conditions. Healthcare providers and residents at elderly care homes have already been given priority.

It comes as U.S. rollout of the Covid vaccines has been off to a shaky start.

The CDC guidelines are only a recommendation but are created to increase what's seen as a slow national rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.

Of the 25.4 million first doses distributed to states so far, just 8.9 million had been injected into arms, or 35 percent.

The new guidelines would include those 65 and older and any adult with health conditions that would place them at greater risk for COVID-19 complications.

Azar said the government will stop holding back the required second doses and deliver them to state authorities.

The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to announce sweeping changes Tuesday in vaccine rollout guidelines in an effort to boost the lagging number of vaccinations in the first month.

Public health officials are reminding people that the vaccines require two doses, either three weeks apart for the Pfizer version and four weeks apart for the Moderna version.

"We now believe that our manufacturing is predictable enough that we can ensure second doses are available for people from ongoing production".

"We would much rather see states move as quickly as possible and use every avenue possible to meet demand, than to leave vaccines sitting in a freezer", said Azar.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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