US President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will release every available dose of Covid-19 vaccine produced in the country, rather than holding back half the supply to make sure people receive their booster shots on time, a report said Friday.
“The President-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible,” TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for Biden’s transition, told CNN.
“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.”
Both vaccines currently authorized in the US, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, require recipients to receive booster shots — after three and four weeks, respectively.
By eliminating the requirement to hold back half the supply in reserve, officials hope to scale up the number of people who can be reached quickly.
But delaying the booster shot would reduce the level of individual protection and the idea has been opposed by the Food and Drug Administration as well as top government scientist Anthony Fauci.
The news comes as vaccine rollout falters badly across the country, which has seen more than 365,000 Covid deaths — around 4,000 on Thursday alone.
But the major bottleneck right now lies in the distribution, rather than supply: the federal government has overseen the shipping of 21.4 million first doses, of which only about 5.9 million have been administered.
The remaining roughly 15.5 million doses are not being held back as boosters, but are instead being held in cold storage at hospitals and clinics that have not yet used them.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)