US to allow more people to get coronavirus shots

January 12, 2021
Kimberly Hale with the Mount Rogers Health District, Virginia Department of Health, give John Battle High School teacher Jennifer Daniel her COVID-19 vaccine on Monday afternoon. Teachers from Bristol Virginia and Washington County Virginia received their first vaccine during an all-day event at the Virginia Highlands Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Virginia. (David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP)

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration says it will speed up delivery of the shots after a slow start to the mass coronavirus vaccination campaign

Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced two major changes. First, the government will no longer hold back required second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, practically doubling supply.

Second, states should immediately start vaccinating other groups lower down the priority scale, including people age 65 and older, and younger people with certain health problems.

That aligns with President-elect Joe Biden’s approach, who earlier called for the government to stop holding back doses.

On Monday, the government had distributed about 25.5 million doses, but only about 9 million people had received their first shot.

The U.S. leads the world with 22.6 million coronavirus cases and more than 376,000 confirmed deaths.

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