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US Trump says U.S. will have vaccine doses for all Americans in April

01:45  19 september  2020
01:45  19 september  2020 Source:   politico.com

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President Donald Trump said Friday that there will be enough doses of coronavirus vaccine for every American by April, contradicting administration health officials who have projected the country would not reach that point until mid-2021.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Friday. © Alex Brandon/AP Photo President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Friday.

"Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April," he said at a White House press briefing. Trump earlier in the week said that doses would be broadly available by March.

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Trump touted the timeline as evidence of "historic progress," and said of a vaccine, "we essentially have it — we will be announcing it soon." Notably, the president did not repeat his familiar prediction that the government would authorize a vaccine by election day, which top government scientists have said would be unlikely.

The Food and Drug Administration has not yet given emergency authorization or approval to any of the coronavirus vaccines now in development. Vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca are now in the final stage of clinical trials in the United States, and the government has pre-purchased hundreds of millions of doses of at least a half-dozen experimental shots.

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Asked about comments from the government's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, and CDC Director Robert Redfield about vaccines being broadly available mid- to late next year, Trump said, "We think we can beat that number very substantially."

But it is still unclear which of those available doses will be usable. Experts say it's unlikely that all the vaccines now in development will prove safe and effective.

AstraZeneca recently paused its end-stage, Phase III trials after a woman who received the shot developed serious side effects. It is still not clear whether her spinal inflammation was related to the shot itself. Trials outside the U.S. have resumed, but the American trial is still on hold.

Moderna has said it can produce 20 million doses by the end of the year. Pfizer has promised 100 million shots worldwide in the same timeframe, but has not disclosed how many would go to the U.S. Executives from both companies have suggested they could have data for emergency use authorization as early as October, although clinical trial blueprints released yesterday by the two firms suggest the first trial data won't be available then.

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CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in August projected that the U.S. would have anywhere from 40 million to 45 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, combined, by late December 2020.

Because the vaccines are two-dose regimens, 40 million doses would be enough to vaccinate 20 million people. It is not clear whether Trump's promise to have enough vaccine for all 330 million Americans by April means that the government will have enough vaccine to give each person the first of two shots, or the full two-shot vaccination.

Other companies receiving U.S. funding including Johnson & Johnson are expected to enter Phase III trials soon.

While manufacturers typically wait until their drug is approved to begin mass production, several companies are scaling up manufacturing with government backing so their vaccines — if approved — can swiftly be distributed.

The plan is for shots to be distributed within 24 hours of emergency authorization or approval, Paul Mango, HHS’ deputy chief of staff for policy, said on a call with reporters on Wednesday. The health department issued a distribution playbook for states the same day. Trump repeated the promise in the Friday press briefing.

Trump says U.S. will manufacture enough coronavirus vaccine doses for every American by April

  Trump says U.S. will manufacture enough coronavirus vaccine doses for every American by April President Donald Trump said Friday the U.S. will manufacture at least 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses before the end of the year with enough to inoculate every American by April "Hundreds of millions of doses will be available every month and we expect to have enough vaccines for every American by April and again I'll say even at that later stage, the delivery will go as fast as it comes," Trump said at a White House press briefing.Pfizer and Moderna, frontrunners in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mango in the call laid out an optimistic timeline for vaccines to be ready in the fourth quarter for high priority populations such as health care workers and the elderly. “As supply equals demand and exceeds demand into 2021, our distribution principles will change,” he said.

Other senior health officials including Redfield and HHS testing czar Brett Giroir have said widespread vaccine distribution is more likely in the middle of next year.

Meanwhile Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said last week that the agency would soon release new guidance on how a Covid-19 vaccine could be authorized for emergency use. The guidance is expected to raise the requirements for authorization, which is still a bar lower than full approval.

Zachary Brennan contributed to this report.


Video: Top vaccine makers offer cautious timeline and emphasize transparency (NBC News)

'Are people to be left to die?' Vaccine pleas fill UN summit .
If the United Nations was created from the ashes of World War II, what will be born from the global crisis of COVID-19? Many world leaders at this week’s virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. Many world leaders at this week’s virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. But with the U.S., China and Russia opting out of a collaborative effort to develop and distribute a vaccine, and some rich nations striking deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure millions of potential doses, the U.N. pleas are plentiful but likely in vain.

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