Rigid following of guidance on who should get coronavirus vaccines first has slowed the rollout, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday.
Fauci echoed statements made by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who also blamed states for slowing the rollout of vaccines by sticking too closely to guidelines. He urged states to open vaccination eligibility to people aged 65 and older and people with chronic medical conditions.
Guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been a bit too rigid, Fauci said during a webcast hosted by Schmidt Futures and Social Science Research Council. The CDC recommended giving the very first vaccines to frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
While the priorities won’t be abandoned, "when people are ready to get vaccinated, we’re going to move right on to the next level, so that there are not vaccine doses that are sitting in a freezer or refrigerator where they could be getting into people’s arms," Fauci said.
Fauci added that in the next few weeks he thinks "we’re going to be seeing much more efficient administration of the vaccine, namely getting it into people’s arms."