WASHINGTON (Reuters) -COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated to a U.S. state but left unordered will become available to other states under a policy shift aimed at delivering vaccines to where they are most in demand, the White House said on Tuesday.
Vaccines have been allocated state by state based on population – a formula the Biden administration held to even as some states such as Michigan saw increases in coronavirus infections.
Under the new policy, unordered doses would be made available to states with a more immediate need, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
“They can still order … up to their full allocation based on population,” Psaki said. “They can also order less than their full allocation and … the doses that are not being given to that state will then go into kind of an overarching supply that could then be distributed to other states by population.”
The shift, first reported by the Washington Post, was conveyed to governors by the Biden administration on Tuesday.
New coronavirus cases in the United States fell for the third week in a row. About 30.5% of the population, or about 101,407,318 people, have been fully vaccinated as of last week.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose and Susan Heavey; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Nick Macfie and Grant McCool)