Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has secured an extra 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19, saying a faster rollout is the key to returning to some version of normality.
"We're on track to having every Canadian who wants a vaccine receive one by September", said Trudeau, adding that the federal government has let all provinces and territories know how many vaccines they will be receiving every week from now until the end of February.
The Trump administration is asking states to speed delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to people 65 and older and to others at high risk by no longer holding back the second dose of the two-dose shots, officials said Tuesday.
Pfizer and BioNtech have said there is no evidence their vaccine will stay effective against COVID-19 if its second dose is taken after the recommended 21 days.
The call is accompanied by a change in how vaccine doses are allocated to states. "We fully expect to see another increase now that we are nearly two weeks out from the New Year's holiday", she said. He said he supported immediately releasing vaccines that health authorities were holding back out of caution, to guarantee they would be available for people needing their second dose.
"We've committed to not-for-profit pricing during the pandemic period if we are granted EUA (or its equivalent) in any region of the world", Mammen said in the statement. Officials from the Biden team declined to comment on Tuesday's policy announcements.
"I think it is appropriate to expand the groups, bring more people into the eligible pools", said Robert Wachter, chair of the University of San Francisco, California Department of Medicine. Now, officials say they are confident the needed supply will be there.
The province is considering further reducing in-person gathering limits, cutting the opening hours for essential stores like groceries and pharmacies and restricting construction and manufacturing to essential business only.
If states follow Azar's instructions, efforts to protect front-line essential workers - people who can not work from home and whose work puts them at greater risk of contracting Covid - will tumble further back in the prioritization scheme. The FDA has also approved a vaccine made by Moderna.
"We are all wanting to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible", said Grace Lee, a pediatrician at Stanford and a member of the CDC's vaccine advisory committee. "So everything is now available to our states and our health care providers".
Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer said on Monday that hospitalisations stood at over 8,000 last Friday, an increase of 884 per cent from early November.
Some states, including Arizona, have or are planning to open up mass vaccination centers, aiming to inoculate thousands of people a day in a single location.