SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico’s Health Department announced Monday that it will turn its COVID-19 vaccine efforts solely to those 65 and older, suspending shots for emergency responders.
Health Secretary Carlos Mellado said the new policy will be in effect for the next four weeks.
The U.S. territory already has vaccinated more than 250,000 people, starting with medical workers and then emergency workers.
The Health Department also put a halt to vaccinations for the U.S. territory’s elections commission, saying it had not been authorized.
“We are not going to tolerate people jumping ahead,” Health Secretary Carlos Mellado said in a statement. “Our elderly adults are our priority.”
The department said vaccination of emergency responders will resume once the elderly have received their shots.
Puerto Rico has reported more than 156,000 confirmed and suspected coronavirus infections and more than 1,800 deaths.