President Trump is expected to issue an executive order Tuesday that makes sure all Americans have access to the COVID-19 vaccine before the government sends millions of doses around the world to aid other nations.
The president will reemphasize to the American people that the "priority has been an America First approach," during an “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine summit at the White House on Tuesday.
Trump's executive order, which was first reported by Fox News, comes just a few days before the Food and Drug Administration's meeting on Thursday to consider Pfizer and BioNTech's request for emergency authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA is also scheduled to meet on Dec. 17 to review Moderna's vaccine application. Pfizer and BioNTech could get approval for their vaccine as early as Friday.
Associated Press reports Pfizer is expected to provide enough vaccine doses for 50 million Americans in the coming months. And the Trump administration already committed to buy at least 100 million doses from Pfizer as soon as they're available.
"The priority is to make sure we distribute these vaccines to Americans before we start shipping them around the world to get international access," an official told Fox, anticipating that international assistance could come "late spring, early summer," and after they "achieve vaccinating those who have a desire to be vaccinated."
The official said the executive order is "clear and is directing that we prioritize access to the American people before working with partners and allies to provide access to the vaccine."
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday that all Americans who want a COVID-19 vaccination should be able get one by the second quarter of next year.
As CBN News reported last week, the Centers for Disease Control is recommending that healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities be first in line to receive the vaccine.
State and local leaders will decide distribution for their own communities.
A framework for international access to the US COVID-19 vaccines will also be included with the President's order, which will provide instructions on how government agencies will interact with other counties to help bring an end to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.