US conveys covid-19 vaccine summit ahead of emergency authorizations
London, Dec. 2, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A coronavirus vaccine summit between the US government and vaccine manufacturers, drug distributors and government officials is holding next week, Stat News reported on Tuesday, citing an invitation obtained by the news organization.
The vaccine summit scheduled for December 8 will feature President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and private-sector executives, the report said.
Industry officials familiar with plans for the vaccine summit interpreted it as an opportunity for the White House to pressure the FDA to quickly issue emergency authorizations for the first two vaccines candidates to be reviewed — one developed by the partnership of Pfizer and BioNTech and the other developed by Moderna — as well as to ensure Trump receives credit for the breakneck pace of vaccine development to take place under his watch.
Trump has long called for the FDA to move faster and credited his government’s efforts with the record timetable for developing vaccines. “I came up with vaccines that people didn’t think we’d have for five years,” Trump said Sunday in a Fox News interview.
White House spokesman Brian Morgenstern said the president “looks forward to convening leaders from the federal government, state governments, private sector, military, and scientific community for a comprehensive discussion with the American people as the administration prepares to deliver this historic, life-saving vaccine to every zip code in the United States within 24 hours of an FDA approval.”
The event will come roughly six weeks before Trump is set to leave the White House. Upon taking office on Jan. 20, President-elect Biden will likely be tasked with overseeing a mass distribution effort for vaccines developed during the Trump administration.
On Monday, US firm Moderna said it would file requests for emergency authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States and Europe , after full results confirmed a high efficacy estimated at 94.1 percent.
“We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalizations and death,” said the company’s CEO Stephane Bancel.
If the US Food and Drug Administration agrees it is safe and effective, the first of the drug’s two doses could be injected into the arms of millions of Americans by the middle of December.
Americans returning home from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures around the country Monday as health officials brace for a disastrous worsening of the out-of-control surge because of holiday gatherings over the long weekend.
Los Angeles County imposed a stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents, and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, banned high school, college and professional sports and decreed a quarantine for those who have travelled more than 150 miles outside the county.