Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, said during an Alliance for Health Policy event Friday he’s encouraging states to broaden criteria for who can be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Some states have about 30% to 35% utilization of the current vaccine that they have, he said, and “we’re encouraging those states to broaden the criteria for administration.” Several states have opened up vaccination to people in certain age groups, even if they haven’t finished vaccinating health care workers.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Phase 1a consists of health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities, Phase 1b includes adults ages 75 and older and frontline essential workers and Phase 1c prioritizes adults ages 65 to 75, people ages 16-64 who have high-risk medical conditions and other essential workers.
“There’s a science and data driven approach to those recommendations, and I feel that those are very reasonable to follow,” Hahn said. But if the first prioritization group isn’t using all the available vaccine, it’s reasonable to move on to the next group, “not going outside of the guardrails of the recommendations of the ACIP, because I think they’re really important, but maybe going down to the next level as you try to use as much vaccine as possible.”