Other states have planned to gradually expand access to older residents over the next month. Ohio, for example, was scheduled to begin vaccinating people age 80 and older next week, people age 70 or older on February 1 and those age 65 or older on February 8. Registration gates quickly break down and people spend hours on the phone or in long lines, often to no avail.
The two companies that manufacture emergency-approved vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, are ramping up production. In an interview Tuesdays with CNBCPfizer CEO Dr. Albert Burla said Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have raised their global production estimates this year to 2 billion doses from 1.3 billion doses.
“We have a lot more than they can use right now,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended last month that after vaccinating health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, states should vaccinate people over the age of 75 and some “frontline” workers who cannot do their jobs from Home. Just then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised that states should turn to people ages 65 to 74 and adults of all ages with high-risk medical conditions. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations were not binding, but many states have largely followed them while demand still far outstrips supply.
“Many of our members feel this is just starting to move very quickly,” said Dr. Marcus Plicia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and County Health Officials. “What we will get to is a first-come, first-served approach in distributing the vaccine, and this will not be fair.”
This week, Mr. Biden is expected to announce details of his vaccination plan – which will include federally subsidized universal vaccination clinics. The Biden transition team declined to comment on Tuesday on the Trump administration’s new policy. But a person familiar with the president-elect’s plans said Mr. Biden was also planning to expand the world of those eligible to be vaccinated.
Mr. Azar said the Trump administration had always expected a switch from curb dosing when it was confident of the supply chain.