The new plan will also change guidelines to allow vaccinations immediately for all over the age of 65 and will help states set up mass vaccination sites if they request help. The administration wants to shift focus away from hospitals and focus more on adding more accessible venues, such as pharmacies, the source said.
This will try to tackle a recurring problem that states have had in trying to administer the vaccine through hospitals and medical providers who have said they do not have the resources or staff to operate as vaccination clinics.
The changes come after two Operation Warp Speed meetings held by HHS Secretary Alex Azar over the past 48 hours on how to speed up the delayed process, according to the official. Vaccine production has not increased as fast as many experts had hoped.
As recently as last week, Operation Warp Speed pushed back on the Biden team’s plan to release all doses now.
“If President Biden calls for the distribution of vaccines, knowing that no other dose will be available, this decision is without science or data and is contrary to the FDA – approved label,” OWS spokesman Michael Pratt said Friday. in the light of Biden’s announcement. “If President Biden proposes that the maximum number of doses should be made available, in accordance with ensuring that another dose of vaccine will be there when the patient shows up, then it is already happening.”
They also rejected other ideas to stretch the vaccine supply, saying that people who wonder about the possibility of coping with just one dose or cutting doses in half misinterpret the data.
“We have been following the discussions and news reports on reducing the number of doses, extending the time between doses, changing the dose (half-dose) or mixing and matching vaccines to immunize more people against COVID-19,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn and Dr. Peter Marks, who heads the FDA’s vaccine division, said in a statement at the time.
Meanwhile, coronavirus is on the rise across the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 200,000 new Covid-19 cases have been reported every single day during the past week, and the United States has an average of over 3,200 reported deaths every day during that period.
CNN’s Sara Murray contributed to this report.