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White House coronavirus task force pushes for states to give the COVID-19 vaccine to whoever wants it

The White House coronavirus task force is slightly changing its strategy for giving out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Allison Daniels, memory support caregiver at The Ridge Foothill, left, FaceTimes with her daughter as she gets the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, administered by Shixian Wang, a pharmacist with Red Rock Pharmacy, at The Ridge Foothill senior living facility in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.
Allison Daniels, memory support caregiver at The Ridge Foothill, left, FaceTimes with her daughter as she gets the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, administered by Shixian Wang, a pharmacist with Red Rock Pharmacy, at The Ridge Foothill senior living facility in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Senior officials working with the White House coronavirus task force are pushing for states to start giving out the COVID-19 vaccine to whoever wants it, The Daily Beast reports.

  • Specifically, the states would give out excess COVID-19 vaccines to whoever wants to get it.
  • Officials said the move would end the strategy and debate about who gets the vaccine first. Rather, first-come, first-served would make sure vaccines don’t expire, and it would give people the vaccine more quickly, The Daily Beast reports.

So far, more than 4.2 million people have received the COVID-19 vaccine, but experts caution that number is far from where the U.S. needs to be at right now, as I wrote about for the Deseret News. Numbers could be lagging due to reporting issues.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that number may grow soon. He told NBC there were 1.5 million vaccine doses distributed in 72 hours. That’s about 500,000 per day. So the numbers will climb.

How to make it work

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA chief, called on major pharmacies to start distributing the vaccine now in order to get it to more people, as I wrote about for the Deseret News

  • “Make the vaccine more generally available through the retail pharmacies, through Walmart and Walgreens and CVS to a broader population, to a general population starting with age,” Gottlieb said in an interview on the “Face the Nation” program. “We can walk it down the age continuum, make it available for 75 and above first, then 70 and above, and 65 and above. There’s 50 million Americans 65 and above, a large percentage of them probably want to be vaccinated. At some point, we need to allow supply to meet demand here and get the shots into the arms of the people who really want to get vaccinated and are going to go out and seek out the vaccination.”