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Incoming Administration Hopes to Change Course on COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
In a departure from the Trump administration’s policy of holding back vaccine doses to ensure that recipients receive a second injection of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, President-elect Joe Biden intends to release all available COVID-19 vaccines to speed up the distribution of the highly coveted immunizations. When the second dose is given at the recommended 21 to 28 days following the first, both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer approximately 95% efficacy against the novel coronavirus. Their effectiveness decreases to about 80% to 90% when one dose is administered, and it is unclear how long this immunity lasts in the absence of a second injection.
Distribution of the COVID-19 vaccinations has fallen short of projections. Operation Warp Speed—a federal program dedicated to furthering the development and application of a COVID-19 vaccine and ensuring access for Americans—had planned to vaccinate 20 million Americans before the end of the year. While the United States has received approximately 15.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, only about 4.5 million doses have been administered, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The United Kingdom recently switched from the approach of holding back second doses of the vaccine to inoculating more people with one dose. Click here to read more.