Media Outlets Examine Trump Administration Efforts To Secure COVID-19 Vaccines

New York Times: Blunders Eroded U.S. Confidence in Early Vaccine Front-Runner
“…[A] pattern of communication blunders by AstraZeneca … has damaged the company’s relationship with regulators, raised doubts about whether its vaccine will stand up to intense public and scientific scrutiny and, in at least one instance, slowed the vaccine’s development. The result is that a vaccine that was expected to account for a substantial portion — by one metric, as much as 60 percent — of the total vaccine supply in the United States faces an uncertain future…” (Robbins et al., 12/8).

Roll Call: ‘America First’ order unlikely to save vaccines for Americans
“President Donald Trump signed a mostly symbolic executive order Tuesday specifying that the United States should get first access to any vaccine, formalizing with fanfare what experts say is already de facto U.S. policy. … But the executive order won’t create any new rules or prevent pharmaceutical companies from entering into bilateral agreements with foreign nations, according to a background briefing with senior administration officials Monday. It’s not clear the administration could prevent pharmaceutical companies from drawing on U.S. plants to satisfy agreements. … Some global health experts say the ‘America first’ message is counterproductive in a pandemic that easily seeps across borders. Advocates for greater global access to vaccine technology describe this position as ‘vaccine nationalism’…” (Kopp, 12/8).

Washington Post: The White House declined to buy more of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. Here’s where it could go instead.
“The Trump administration turned down the chance to secure more of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which Britain became the first to roll out Tuesday, and will probably need to wait until June or July to procure doses beyond an initial order of 100 million because other countries have snapped up limited supply, the company told the White House. Trump administration officials defended their decision, noting that the United States is at the front of the line for the promising Moderna vaccine, which is expected to be approved in coming weeks, along with the Pfizer jab. … Given the Trump administration’s big promises on vaccines, the prospect of limited supply and long waits in the United States will lead to questions about where those doses are going. Here is what we know so far…” (Rauhala, 12/8).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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