January 14, 2021
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health
In updated guidance released on January 14, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) provides additional clarification to the Governor Gavin Newsom’s January 13, 2021, announcement that California is moving to expand vaccine prioritization to anyone age 65 and older. The guidance reaffirms that health care personnel, including vaccinators, continue to be prioritized. It also allows vaccinators to offer doses to any lower priority group promptly when:
- Demand subsides in the current groups or
- Doses are about to expire according to labeling instructions or
- Doses have been thawed and would otherwise go to waste.
Additionally, the updated guidance alo includes a new recommendation for vaccine providers to use 50% of “second doses” received to provide first doses to those currently eligible for vaccination as described in the guidance. This follows a recent similar changes to federal vaccine strategy. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar last week said the government will stop holding back second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
According to CDPH, these changes were made to achieve the timely and maximum vaccination of Californians. The recommendations continue to be subject to review and further revisions.
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