As Covid-19 daily deaths and new cases hit new and more disturbing levels, health authorities have decided to widen groups eligible for vaccinations.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar explained last week that the federal government is now open to giving out second doses of the vaccine to those who need them. He said,
“We are telling states they should open vaccinations to all people ... 65 and over and all people under age 65 with a comorbidity with some form of medical documentation.”
Despite this change in vaccination plan, second doses will be to all those who are ready for them. Based on the science, studies and reports on vaccines it is crucial that people receive them in just the right time. Moderna does need a space of 28 days while Pfizer requires 21 days.
So far, over 30.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed nationwide and 11.1 million initial doses have been administered, according to the CDC data.
According to health officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the factors slowing down the vaccine rollout was the strict adherence to only vaccinating those eligible for it. Fauci explained,
“When people are ready to get vaccinated, we're going to move right on to the next level, so that there are not vaccine doses that are sitting in a freezer or refrigerator where they could be getting into people's arm.”
In another week’s time, these vaccines will be distributed to states depending on which ones are administering the most doses and have a wider older demographic (65 plus). States have been given prior notice of this shift so they can plan accordingly to improve their data collecting system if it's faulty.
So far, only six states have been able to administer half the amount of doses distributed to them as per CDC reports. These states include Montana, North Dakota, Connecticut, West Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama.
While states are opening up to having more people vaccinated, they are also opening mass vaccination facilities. Los Angeles, for example, has now designated Dodger Stadium as a mass vaccination site with a capacity of administering doses to as many as 12,000 people a day.