The Trump administration is making several big changes to its COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategy, officials announced Tuesday, in a bid to jump-start the rollout and get more Americans vaccinated quickly.
The first change is to call on states to expand immediately the pool of people eligible to receive vaccines to those 65 and older, and those with underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19.
“We’re telling states today that they should open vaccinations to all of their most vulnerable people. That is the most effective way to save lives now,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a press briefing Tuesday.
The call is accompanied by a change in how vaccine doses are allocated to states. Currently, doses are given to states based on their total adult populations. Starting in two weeks, vaccines will be distributed to states based on the number of over 65-year-olds who live there — and by the pace of vaccine administration reported by states.