US President Donald Trump plans to hold a “vaccine summit” at the White House on Tuesday to increase confidence in the new corona vaccines among the American public, a senior government official said.
The president will open the three-hour summit with comments, followed by discussions about how the vaccines were developed and how they will be regulated, distributed and administered. He plans to sign an ordinance to prioritize vaccinations for people in the US before helping other countries.
The president has personally taken credit for the rapid development of coronavirus vaccines, under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program.
Pharmaceuticals Pfizer and Moderna have each requested approval for their vaccines, both of which are more than 90 percent effective, according to preliminary data from clinical trials.
But the drug companies will not participate in the summit. Pfizer said in a statement that it had informed the White House that it would not be attending. Moderna managers will not come either.
Government officials have said states will receive first deliveries of the two vaccines within 24 hours of regulatory approval. Pfizer’s vaccine could be approved next week, Vice President Mike Pence said.
The government is aiming to have 20 million Americans vaccinated by the end of the year.