With the FDA stipulating COVID-19 vaccines are emergency use authorized only with the proper two-dose administration a few weeks apart, the federal government has been ensuring that agreed upon vaccine doses for phase 1a are provided to states up front and the second doses are withheld and sent to states only when it’s time for the second dose.  However, roll-out of the vaccine has gone slower than anticipated, with only 28% of vaccines being administered, not 50% as hoped.

Eight Democratic governors wrote a letter to the Trump administration to “demand that the federal government begin distributing these reserved doses to states immediately” with the confidence manufacturing will keep pace to provide second doses on time.  The Trump administration is responding affirmatively, releasing most withheld vaccines per Secretary Azar.  The CDC will be revising their recommendations to provide the vaccine to everyone age 65+ and and to shift the distribution focus from just hospitals to expand to more local and accessible providers such as pharmacies.  The bulk of the current rollout to long-term care facilities has been through a partnership with CVS and Walgreen’s.

President-elect Biden has also indicated he plans to reduce America’s 2,600+ daily deaths by rapidly releasing most vaccines as they’re manufactured, providing funds to accelerate development of vaccines, and providing more federal oversight.  Biden plans to release more details next week but his spokesperson T.J. Ducklo said this in a statement: “The president-elect believes we must accelerate distribution of the vaccine while continuing to ensure the Americans who need it most get it as soon as possible. [He] supports releasing available doses immediately, and believes the government should stop holding back vaccine supply so we can get more shots in Americans’ arms now.”

Biden’s goal is to administer 100 million vaccines during the first 100 days of his administration.

IMA will continue to monitor regulator guidance and offer meaningful, practical, timely information.

This material should not be considered as a substitute for legal, tax and/or actuarial advice. Contact the appropriate professional counsel for such matters. These materials are not exhaustive and are subject to possible changes in applicable laws, rules, and regulations and their interpretations.