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State officials were told expand who is getting vaccinated for COVID-19, and announced that all available doses will be distributed to states instead of holding back a reserve of follow-up doses.
Under Arizona’s vaccination protocols, most of the state is in Phase 1B, which is limited to adults 75 years and older. Tuesday’s announcement accelerates the 65 and older group from Phase 1C.
Under the policy changes outlined by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, states should begin vaccinating anyone 65 and older those under 65 who have underlying health conditions that put them at increasing risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms. All must wear masks for their appointments
States also are urged to expand the sites being used for vaccinations, and will see their allocation of doses change. The number of vaccine doses sent to states each week will no longer be based on population, but rather on the pace of vaccine administration and the number of residents 65 and older.
“Every vaccine dose that is sitting in a warehouse rather than going into an arm could mean one more life lost or one more hospital bed occupied,” Azar told reporters.