Trump administration reverses course and adopts part of Biden vaccine distribution plan
Washington (CNN) - 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 -- effectively adopting the approach proposed by President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration.
The Trump administration plans to release reserved second doses immediately, a senior administration official tells CNN. The official expects reserved doses to be distributed over the next two weeks.
The move comes after Trump administration officials recently disparaged Biden's plan to do the same.
"If President-elect Biden is calling for the distribution of vaccines knowing that there would not be a second dose available, that decision is without science or data and is contrary to the FDA's approved label," Operation Warp Speed spokesman Michael Pratt said Friday in light of Biden's announcement. "If President-elect Biden is suggesting that the maximum number of doses should be made available, consistent with ensuring that a second dose of vaccine will be there when the patient shows up, then that is already happening."
The new plan would also change guidelines to allow vaccinations immediately for anyone anyone 65 and older and would help states set up mass vaccination sites should they request assistance. 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 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.
Reported By Kristen Holmes, CNN