“It is the policy of the United States to ensure Americans have priority access to free, safe, and effective COVID-19 vaccines,” reads part of the order. After the HHS Secretary has determined that the U.S. public has received sufficient vaccines, the order calls for facilitating international access to vaccines developed with U.S. government support.
It’s uncertain how the White House will enforce the order.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration discussed the possibility it could obtain 300 million doses by the end of the year. In the fall, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said there would likely be 100 million vaccine doses by the year’s end. In November, Azar said the U.S. was on track to have 40 million doses by the end of December.
Trump vowed to invoke the Defense Production Act as needed to bolster vaccine production.
Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientist of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, declined to explain how the executive order would function. “Frankly, I don’t know, and frankly, I’m staying out of this,” he said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “I don’t know exactly what this order is about,” Slaoui added.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease