CDC Recommends States Give Everyone Over 65 the Coronavirus Vaccine

Grant Boone
January 14, 2021

The United States is planning to release supplies of coronavirus vaccines reserved for second doses as part of an effort to speed up vaccinations of wider groups. "This next phase reflects the urgency of the situation we face", Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a news conference.

This marks a break from the previous plan in which second doses were held back for those people who had received their first, to ensure that there is no delay.

Both vaccines now in use require two doses, three to four weeks apart, for maximum effectiveness.

Previously, the government had urged states to initially concentrate on vaccinating frontline healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities, though some states like Florida had already begun vaccinating people over 65.

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Most states are still trying to get the vaccine to those in the first phases of the rollout: health care workers, those over age 75 and front-line essential workers, such as firefighters and police officers, as well as teachers, corrections officers, US postal workers, public transit workers and those whose jobs are essential for the food supply.

Releasing the second doses could disrupt vaccination schedules.

This will attempt to address a reoccurring issue states have faced in trying to administer the vaccine through hospitals and medical providers that have said they don't have the resources or personnel to serve as vaccination clinics.

According to the tally posted on January 12, the agency had administered 9,327,138 first doses of the vaccines and distributed 27,696,150 doses.

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