President Donald Trump held a summit regarding the COVID-19 vaccine as he signed an executive order that will prioritize the vaccine distribution in this country.
The order will prioritize Americans’ access to COVID-19 vaccines before the United States helps other countries.
“No medical breakthrough of this scope and magnitude has ever been achieved this rapidly, this quickly. And we’re very proud of it, and I had tremendous help from the military — generals, admirals — and many of the great people at the White House,” Trump said.
The order states that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through Operation Warp Speed and with the support of the Secretary of Defense, shall ensure safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines are available to the American people, coordinating with public and private entities — including State, territorial, and tribal governments, where appropriate — to enable the timely distribution of such vaccines.
After determining that there exists a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses for all Americans who choose to be vaccinated the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Chief Executive Officer of the United States International Development Finance Corporation, the Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and the heads of other agencies shall facilitate international access to United States Government COVID-19 Vaccines for allies, partners, and others, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law.
“My Administration has initiated the single greatest mobilization in U.S. history — pioneering, developing, and manufacturing therapies and vaccines in record time,” Trump said.
Using the resources of the federal government and the U.S. private sector, Operation Warp Speed (OWS) will accelerate the testing, supply, development, and distribution of safe and effective vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to counter COVID-19 by January 2021.
The Defense Department is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the State Department to provide support in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
Recommendations were adopted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to vaccinate both health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities during the initial phases of COVID-19 vaccine availability. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted on the matter during an emergency meeting on Dec. 1.
Moderna applied for Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Nov. 30. The company also reported that complete data demonstrated the vaccine was 94.1% effective in a trial with more than 30,000 participants.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine achieved its first authorization on the world stage when the United Kingdom granted a temporary authorization for emergency use. Distribution across the U.K. will be prioritized according to the populations identified in guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization.