The federal government is changing the way it allocates coronavirus vaccine doses, now basing it on how quickly states can administer shots and the size of their elderly population, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday.
States will be given two weeks to prepare for the change, Azar told reporters during a news briefing. That should give states enough time to improve their data reporting to the government and ensure all vaccinations are being “promptly” documented, he said.
States aren’t currently reporting vaccinations in a timely matter, Azar said, adding that vaccine doses “are sitting in freezers in hospitals.”
The announcement comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues new guidelines that expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone 65 and older as well as to those with comorbid conditions, like diabetes and heart disease. The states’ focus on vaccinating health-care workers and nursing homes has created a bottleneck, slowing the…