The US and the European Union are set to make final decisions on new vaccination programmes in the coming weeks, following a month of intensive negotiations on the issues.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently about 30 million Americans with chronic, non-urgent conditions and nearly 10 million of them have a vaccine-preventable disease.
These people will have to wait up to two years to receive their shots, with some having to wait until next spring.
But the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said on Tuesday it will not be using the current US government-mandated window to make the final decision on new vaccine programmes.
“It is now too early to make a final decision about vaccine availability for the next two years, as we need to review the impact on the nation,” it said.
“The department will continue to work with stakeholders, including stakeholders from the pharmaceutical industry, on this important issue.”HHS will make the decision on whether to expand vaccine availability through its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which has recommended the government provide $75 million for each year of the current program.
The US has been trying to expand its vaccination programmes since the end of the pandemic in 2014, but it took until January 2019 to see any vaccine coverage increase beyond the previous two years.
The United States has about 2.6 million people with chronic conditions who have been vaccinated, but only a small percentage of them will receive their shot.
Some US states are expected to make up the difference, with Kansas, Nebraska, Tennessee, Arkansas and Oklahoma currently allowing vaccine-eligible adults to receive the shots.
But as more states have been expanding access to the vaccines, there has been an increase in cases of severe adverse reactions and death.
In June, the US recorded its highest number of deaths from any pandemic, with more than 14,000 people infected.
But it was a similar story in Australia, where more than 15,000 Australians died from vaccine-related complications.
In the US, many states have also been forced to limit the number of shots they can administer to their citizens.
There is also a fear that some US citizens will not get their shots if they are infected with a strain of the coronavirus that can cause severe complications.
This is despite the fact that the US has an extensive vaccination programme, with over 2.4 million US citizens being vaccinated for the coronabovirus.