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Trump to sign executive order to secure COVID-19 vaccine doses

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The choice might delay the supply of a second batch of doses till producer Pfizer fulfills different worldwide contracts.

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration opted final summer time to not lock in an opportunity to purchase hundreds of thousands of further doses of one of many main coronavirus vaccine contenders, a call that might delay the supply of a second batch of doses till producer Pfizer fulfills different worldwide contracts.

The revelation, confirmed Monday by folks accustomed to the matter, got here a day earlier than President Donald Trump aimed to take credit score for the speedy improvement of forthcoming coronavirus vaccines at a White Home summit Tuesday.

Pfizer’s vaccine is predicted to be endorsed by a panel of Meals and Drug Administration advisers as quickly as this week, with supply of 100 million doses — sufficient for 50 million Individuals — anticipated in coming months.

Underneath its contract with Pfizer, the Trump administration dedicated to purchase an preliminary 100 million doses, with an choice to buy as many as 5 occasions extra.

This summer time, the White Home opted to not lock in an extra 100 million doses for supply within the second quarter of 2021, in line with individuals who spoke concerning the matter on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to debate it publicly.

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Days forward of the vaccine’s anticipated approval, the administration is reversing course, however it’s not clear that Pfizer, which has since made commitments to different international locations, will have the ability to meet the newest request on the identical timeline.

The Pfizer vaccine is one in all two on observe for emergency FDA authorization this month, the opposite coming from drugmaker Moderna.

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The Trump administration insisted late Monday that between these two vaccines and others within the pipeline, the U.S. will have the ability to accommodate any American who needs to be vaccinated by the top of the second quarter of 2021.

The administration’s resolution to not lock in further Pfizer purchases final summer time was first reported by The New York Occasions. Well being and Human Companies Secretary Alex Azar informed NBC the administration is “persevering with to work throughout producers to broaden the provision of releasable, of FDA-approved vaccine as shortly as doable. … We do nonetheless have that possibility for an extra 500 million doses.”

In search of to tamp down public skepticism over the vaccine and safe a key element of Trump’s legacy, Tuesday’s summit will spotlight the administration’s plans to distribute and administer the vaccine. However officers from President-elect Joe Biden’s transition staff, which is able to oversee the majority of the biggest vaccination program within the nation’s historical past as soon as he takes workplace Jan. 20, weren’t invited.

The “Operation Warp Velocity” summit will function Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and a number of presidency specialists, state leaders and enterprise executives, because the White Home appears to clarify that the vaccine is protected and lay out the administration’s plans to convey it to the American folks.

Senior administration officers offered particulars on the summit on Monday. An official with the Biden transition confirmed no invitation was prolonged.

Officers from the pharmaceutical corporations growing the vaccines additionally weren’t anticipated to attend, regardless of receiving invites, in line with folks accustomed to the matter. Some expressed considerations concerning the occasion contributing to the politicization of the vaccine improvement course of and probably additional inhibiting public confidence within the medication.

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Trump is about to kick off the occasion with remarks aiming to “have a good time” vaccine improvement, in line with an official who previewed the occasion. Trump additionally will signal an govt order to prioritize Individuals for coronavirus vaccines procured by the federal authorities. A second official mentioned the order would limit the U.S. authorities from donating doses to different nations till there’s extra provide to satisfy home demand. Each officers spoke on situation of anonymity to debate plans for the summit.

It was not instantly clear what, if any, impression the order would have on different nations’ skills to entry the vaccines. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced Monday he expects his nation to obtain about 250,000 doses of a vaccine from Pfizer by the top of the yr.

The Meals and Drug Administration’s panel of out of doors vaccine specialists is to satisfy Thursday to conduct a ultimate overview of the Pfizer drug, and it’ll meet later this month on a vaccine developed by Moderna. The FDA isn’t required to observe the panel’s recommendation, although it normally does. Company choices on the 2 medication are anticipated inside days of every assembly. Each have been decided to be 95% efficient in opposition to the virus that causes COVID-19. Plans name for distributing after which administering about 40 million doses of the 2 corporations’ vaccines by the top of the yr — with the primary doses delivery inside hours of FDA clearance.

Biden mentioned Friday that “there’s no detailed plan that we’ve seen” for how you can get the vaccines out of containers, into syringes after which into folks’s arms.

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Trump administration officers insist that such plans have been developed, with the majority of the work falling to states and municipal governments to make sure their most weak populations are vaccinated first. The administration says it has leveraged partnerships with producers, distributers and well being care suppliers, in order that exterior of settings like veterans’ hospitals, “it’s extremely unlikely {that a} single federal worker will contact a dose of vaccine earlier than it goes into your arm.”

In all, about 50,000 vaccination websites are enrolled within the authorities’s distribution system, the officers mentioned.

Every of the forthcoming vaccines has distinctive logistical challenges associated to distribution and administration. The Pfizer vaccine should be transported at super-cooled temperatures, and is available in batches of 975 doses. Every vial comprises 5 doses, requiring cautious plannning. The administration has ready detailed movies for suppliers on how you can safely put together and administer doses, to be posted after the FDA points its emergency use authorization.

One such plan is to be introduced Tuesday: Pharmacy chains CVS and Walgreens have stood up a “cell vaccination service” able to vaccinate folks in each nursing house and long-term care facility within the nation. The roughly three million residents of these amenities are among the many most weak for COVID-19 and have been positioned on the entrance of the road to entry the vaccine, together with greater than 20 million healthcare employees. To date 80-85% of the amenities have signed on to the service, the officers mentioned.

AP writers Jonathan Lemire in Wilmington, Delaware, and Linda Johnson in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

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