WASHINGTON – (This event is now over. Click here to read the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.)
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense on Tuesday are expected to hold a briefing on Operation Warp Speed and the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The briefing will be livestreamed in this article at 11 a.m., but delays are possible. If there is not a livestream available, check back at a later time
Barely a month into a mass vaccination campaign to stop the COVID-19 pandemic, the Trump administration unexpectedly shifted gears Tuesday to speed the delivery of shots after a slow start that had triggered widespread concern from states and public health officials.
Health and Human Services Alex Azar announced two major changes. First, the government will no longer hold back required second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, practically doubling supply. Second, states should immediately start vaccinating other groups lower down the priority scale, including people age 65 and older, and younger people with certain health problems.
The move better aligns the outgoing administration with the new Biden-Harris team. On Friday, President-elect Joe Biden said he will rapidly release most available vaccine doses to protect more people. 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.