COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout Changes Course
On January 12, 2021, in response to increasing urgency as COVID-19 cases and deaths rise, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced changes in its COVID-19 vaccination policies in order to increase supply of vaccines, extend eligibility, and provide more locations for vaccinations in an effort to speed vaccination administration. As part of these changes, the federal government will stop holding back the required second dose of both FDA-approved vaccines to speed up widespread administration. Notably, going forward, the federal government will base each state’s allocation of vaccines partly on how successful each state has been in administering those already provided. This “use it or lose it” approach will start to take effect once it is determined whether lags in reporting vaccinations are partly responsible for the appearance of subpar administration. HHS also encouraged states to expand eligibility for vaccination administration to speed up the widespread distribution of the vaccine. Kentucky has already adopted a policy of balancing adherence to phased vaccinations by prioritizing the maximum distribution dosage amount each week and has begun vaccinating K-12 school personnel ahead of the planned Phase 1b rollout originally scheduled for February 1. For more information on Kentucky’s COVID-19 vaccination process, see Governor Andy Beshear’s announcement here.