The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it will release millions of doses of the COVID vaccine to states.
The move comes after a letter was sent to the department last week, in which Governor Gretchen Whitmer and eight other governors requested that the federal government distribute vaccines being held back by the Trump Administration.
In a statement, Whitmer praised the decision.
“Michigan and states across the country remain ready to get more shots in arms, which is why the Trump Administration’s decision to grant our request and release millions of doses of the vaccine is so crucial. It will take all of us – the federal government, state and local leaders, health departments, and everyday Americans - to ensure everyone can get the safe and effective vaccine."
Whitmer also accused the Trump Administration of holding back those vaccines for "reasons unknown." But DHHS Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday morning that the vaccines were being held in order to ensure there were enough second doses available.
Now Azar says vaccine production is predictable enough to distribute available doses and ensure second doses are available.
DHHS also announced that it will now recommend states widen the pool of people eligible to receive the vaccine to include people over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions. Michiganders older than 65 became eligible to receive the vaccine Monday, although that has caused chaos in some counties.
This is a developing story.