President Trump will sign an executive order ensuring all Americans can be vaccinated before doses are given to other nations.
The order is set to “reaffirm the position the president has held his entire administration, which is to prioritize America first,” a senior administration official said.
Other countries will be in line for the vaccine “once we’ve ensured we’ve met the needs of the American people,” the official said. “The excess supply will either be donated, or we’ll begin to work with partnering companies and countries to make sure we have the ability to help them.”
Canada’s plan to import 250,000 vaccine doses from the United States before the end of the year will not be affected, another senior official said.
The signing is expected to take place during a COVID-19 vaccine summit at the White House on Tuesday, with pharmaceutical companies that have been working to develop, produce, and distribute the vaccine under Operation Warp Speed in attendance. President-elect Joe Biden’s team was not invited to participate.
The summit’s purpose is to update “all Americans” on what is to come as well as the progress so far, one official said, explaining why members of the incoming administration were not included. “This is not an exclusive event.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci will not be attending “due to an unfortunate scheduling issue,” an administration official told reporters on a later call.
Officials said that CVS and Walgreens will announce a mobile vaccination program targeting long-term care facilities, a high-priority population.
Though manufacturers hope to begin shipping millions of doses to sites across the country next week, vaccine developers Pfizer and BioNTech are still awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration three weeks after filing the requisite paperwork. The FDA will meet on Thursday to discuss authorization, and approval could be granted before the weekend.
In the call with reporters on Monday, a senior administration official rejected a New York Times report that claimed the White House turned down an offer from Pfizer this summer to purchase more vaccine doses, calling it “false.” Pfizer might not be able to deliver additional vaccine doses until next June.
“We have six vaccine candidates … and the opportunity to purchase 6 billion doses of vaccine,” a senior official said. “No one offered us 4 million doses … I can guarantee you that’s not true.”
Front-line healthcare workers and vulnerable people in nursing homes will be first in line for the vaccine, according to officials. The administration expects all Americans will be vaccinated by the second quarter of 2021.
“We will not have enough in the first week for everyone in that … category, which is about 3 million persons in nursing homes and long-term care residents [and] about 21 million healthcare workers,” one official said.
This person added: “We don’t want to overstimulate the market and say, ‘Just go to your local CVS, and you’ll be vaccinated.’ And that’s not true.”
On Tuesday, Coronavirus Task Force member Admiral Brett Giroir will host a discussion with executives from UPS, ThermoFisher and McKesson on how vaccines will be distributed, a delicate delivery process that requires a well-calibrated cold storage supply chain.
Local jurisdictions will have some power to determine who gets the vaccine early.
“Some jurisdictions are talking about prioritizing teachers because they want kids back in school,” one senior official said. “That’s completely up to them.”
Source: Washington Examiner : Trump to sign order to ‘prioritize America first’ for vaccine