US President-elect Joe Biden has recently announced a controversial shift in Covid-19 vaccination strategy, aiming to release all available doses as soon as possible.
According to a CNN report, it could also be a risky strategy as both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna’s vaccines require two doses, administered at specific intervals and vaccine manufacturing has not ramped up as rapidly as many experts had hoped.
“The President-elect believes we must accelerate the distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible. He supports releasing available doses immediately, and believes the government should stop holding back vaccine supply so we can get more shots in Americans’ arms now,” TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden’s transition team, told CNN in an exclusive interview.
“He will share additional details next week on how his administration will begin releasing available doses when he assumes office on January 20,” Ducklo added.
The Biden team believes that vaccine manufacturers will be able to produce enough second doses in a timely fashion while administering first doses to more Americans, a transition official said.
It also plans to use the Defence Production Act to produce vaccine materials and other supplies in order to ensure there’s enough vaccine for both doses.
The official added that the Biden team may hold back a small number of doses in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Outgoing President Donald Trump’s administration also does this — in addition to holding back the second doses — in the event of incidents such as shipment errors or vaccine spoilage.
The comment from Biden’s transition comes after a group of governors wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer Gen. Gustave Perna pressing the federal government to distribute “reserved doses” of the Covid-19 vaccine to states that need them.