MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 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.
Peggy Robinson just received her first shot for COVID-19. She said she’s happy to learn more people may soon become eligible.
“The more they can keep the population from getting this virus the better everyone will be,” said Robinson.
The Trump administration announced Tuesday new guidelines, including giving people 65 plus access to the vaccine and opening more vaccination sites.
“The plan has always been once we got through 75 and up to open to other populations,” said Shelby County Health Director Alisa Haushalter.
Shelby County Health leaders said they will not make any changes until directed to do so by the state.
New guidelines from the Trump Administration also called for releasing second doses. It’s something the health department is bracing for.
“If everything is released early, there’s an assumption the supply chain will improve, and we will have the opportunity for the second doses at a later point,” said Haushalter.
Haushalter said this move could push back when people come back for their second shot.
“The question becomes the time frame in which that second dose should be administered,” said Haushalter.
People who receive the Moderna vaccine are supposed to receive their second dose 28 days after their initial dose. With the Pfizer vaccine, it’s 21 days later.
Haushalter said there is not enough research to determine the effectiveness of just one dose. And there is little data to determine the effectiveness of pushing the scheduled date back.
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