US should expand coronavirus vaccine eligibility to seniors NOW, former FDA ...

A former FDA head is urging the US to start vaccinating more groups of Americans against COVID-19 immediately and stop holding back millions of doses to give as booster shots for those who have had the first jab. 

'Right now, every shot in an arm is a win,' former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday. 

'If we have a group of Americans that we know wants the vaccine very badly and would take it quickly and also happens to be at the highest risk of a bad covid outcome - and I’m thinking in particular about senior citizens in this country - I would just give it to them,' Dr Gottlieb said. 

Americans are furious and frustrated over the agonizingly slow roll-out of coronavirus vaccines in the US, where fewer than 4.3 million people have had their first shots, while someone has died of COVID-19 every 33 seconds.  

The US is holding back about half the total available supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses to ensure that a second dose is available, on-time, for each person who has received their first shot. 

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But Dr Gottlieb says this policy is holding up distribution, and that a first dose could offer at least some protection to more people, immediately. 

In the three weeks since the US began administering coronavirus vaccines, just 4.5 million people have gotten their first dose - less than a quarter of the 20 million vaccinations that Operation Warp Speed promised to complete by the end of 2020. 

Former FDA chief Dr Scott Gottlieb told Squawk Box he thinks the US should change its vaccine strategy by not withholding second doses and by expanding access to seniors

Former FDA chief Dr Scott Gottlieb told Squawk Box he thinks the US should change its vaccine strategy by not withholding second doses and by expanding access to seniors

Most states have vaccinated less than one percent of their populations and the the US has only vaccinated about a quarter as many Americans as of Monday as the 20 million it promised would get shots by the end of 2020

Most states have vaccinated less than one percent of their populations and the the US has only vaccinated about a quarter as many Americans as of Monday as the 20 million it promised would get shots by the end of 2020 

More than half a million doses of vaccines have gone unused thus far in states like California, Texas and Florida

More than half a million doses of vaccines have gone unused thus far in states like California, Texas and Florida 

The rollout has sputtered, tripping over mundane logistical issues at the state and local levels, and poor coordination between the federal government, health departments, hospitals and other providers. 

Vaccines have also been met with far greater hesitancy in the two groups bumped to the front of the line than US officials expected.  

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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said last week that about 60 percent of nursing home staff in his state were

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