Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine

By Canadian Press	
	 		Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine

The Trump administration also said Tuesday it would begin releasing all available vaccine supply, rather than holding back second doses, as the incoming administration said last week it meant to do.

"We've already distributed more vaccine than we have health care workers and people in nursing homes", Azar said.

Indonesia began its coronavirus vaccination drive on Wednesday, with President Joko Widodo receiving his first shot of a Chinese-produced vaccine. Dicky Budiman said that many people have questioned and expressed doubt about the vaccine, as the data Indonesia used for emergency authorization is only preliminary.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced a series of major changes to increase supply of vaccines and expand the age groups eligible as well as locations where people can get shots.

The House is preparing articles of impeachment against Trump - for an unprecedented second time - for helping incite last week's violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

The new prioritization scheme pushes everyone 65 and older, as well as people 16 and older with one high-risk medical condition, to the front of the vaccine line, where they join health workers and nursing home residents and staff.

In addition to Sinovac vaccine, the government has secured supply commitment from British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and US-based vaccine producer Novavax, each will deliver 50 million doses. "Some states' heavy-handed, micromanagement of this process has stood in the way of vaccines reaching a broader swath of the vulnerable population more quickly", Azar said.

He said the federal government "will deploy teams to support states doing mass vaccination efforts if they wish to do so".

If states follow Azar's instructions, a 24-year-old smoker who works from home would have the same vaccine priority status as a frail 85-year-old - and would be ahead of non-smoking teachers, municipal bus drivers, meat packing plant employees, and other front-line essential workers whom the CDC had previously recommended should be vaccinated in Phase 1b. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine alone was supposed to have 25 million doses ready for across the country by the end of December.

Biden's team was awaiting more details about another part of the plan to redirect some vaccine away from states moving more slowly toinoculate residents, but advisers looked unfavorably on a system that "punishes states", said two officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the criticisms.

The new approach aligns with President elect Joe Biden's plan to release most of the available vaccine doses so that a greater share of the population can be protected.

Initially the government had been holding back second doses as a safety precaution against potential shortfalls in production. "The good news is that 700,000 people are getting vaccinated every single day". The incoming Biden administration previously said it planned to rescind the policy.

"We know that the cold-chain distribution is not complete". We are anxious that [we experienced problems with] only the first batch of 1.2 million.

Azar said they'll brief the Biden transition team on the changes, but didn't seek their blessing.



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