WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden will aim to release more available doses of coronavirus vaccine when he takes office, a departure from Trump administration strategy of holding back a supply to make sure second doses are available, a spokesman said on 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 Reuters.
“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.”
Biden will reveal more next week about how his administration will begin releasing the available doses once he takes office on Jan. 20, Ducklo said in a statement.
Some small amount may be reserved for unforeseen circumstances but Ducklo said more vaccines would be released than are currently.
CNN first reported the new approach.
The Trump administration fell far short of its goal of vaccinating 20 million Americans with a first of two required doses by the end of 2020.
In a letter Friday to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Operation Warp Speed Chief Operating Officer General Gustave Perna, a group of state governors urged the federal government to tap into the “reserved doses” of COVID-19 vaccine and send them to states that need them.
The coronavirus vaccines must be administered in two separate doses weeks apart.
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Giles Elgood)