States told to vaccinate everyone 65 and over as deaths surge

In an effort to accelerate the nation's COVID-19 immunization rollout as infections and deaths rise, the Trump administration wants to start vaccinating all Americans aged 65 years and older right away. Officials also want to immediately target tens of millions of high-risk adults with underlying medical comorbidities.

In an effort to accelerate the nation's COVID-19 immunization rollout as infections and deaths rise, the Trump administration wants to start vaccinating all Americans aged 65 years and older right away. Officials also want to immediately target tens of millions of high-risk adults with underlying medical comorbidities. Most states had expected to begin immunizing those populations beginning in February—only after offering the protection to adults aged 75 years and older and to front-line workers, as recommended by CDC. Instead, HHS Secretary Alex Azar advised Tuesday that they should start now, enlisting pharmacies and community health centers to help. The extra doses will come from stores of the vaccines that were being held in reserve for booster doses, after the administration reversed its stance against releasing them. "This next phase reflects the urgency of the situation we face," Azar said. "Every vaccine dose that is sitting in a warehouse rather than going into an arm could mean one more life lost or one more hospital bed occupied." He also said it was always the administration's plan to stop holding back doses once it gained confidence in the supply chain.