USA releases millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses

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Most states have given priority to health care workers and nursing home workers when they first ship vaccines. (File)

The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it was releasing millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses that it had withheld for second shots and urged states to offer them to all Americans over 65 or with chronic illness.

U.S. Department of Health Secretary Alex Azar said during a news conference that the rate of vaccination in the U.S. has increased to 700,000 shots per day and is expected to increase to 1 million per day within a week for up to 10 days.

Last week, President-elect Joe Biden spokesman said that Biden, who takes office next week, would speed up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and delay vaccinations by releasing more doses.

Most states prioritized health care workers, nursing home workers and residents for their first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines, which began last month, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The process of inoculating these groups was slow, in part because of the complexity of the vaccination.

Newsbeep

CDC boss Dr. Robert Redfield said Tuesday that he “strongly recommends” making vaccines available to people over 65 and to those under 65 with other chronic conditions.

The CDC made it clear last week that states can move on to the next priority group – people over 75 and key workers – without completing the first round of vaccination, but fewer than 20 states have. A handful of states, including Texas, Florida, and Georgia, have started shooting people over 65.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)

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